position realty

Results, No Excuses

How Does a Pocket Listing Work?


If you watch real estate shows, you might occasionally hear a reference to a pocket listing. A pocket listing is a way for real estate agents to intentionally keep a home off the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) as they look for the right buyer.

A pocket listing isn’t publicly listed, even though it’s for sale. The real estate agent does private showings with potential buyers instead of putting it on the MLS, which is public-facing.

Pocket listings aren’t the same as having a coming soon listing. Coming soon is a way for an agent to designate that a home isn’t listed yet, but shortly will be on the market.

Pocket listings aren’t illegal, but they are frowned upon. The National Association of Realtors, the largest real estate agent professional organization in the country, essentially banned pocket listings for members in 2019. The NAR handbook says that within one business day of marketing a property to the public, the listing broker has to submit it to the MLS.

The NAR wants to ensure cooperation among real estate agents, which was one reason it cracked down on pocket listings. The organization also wants to ensure competition, meaning all buyers have a chance for a listing, and sellers get the chance for the best price.

Some agents can bend the rules to ensure they’re compliant with NAR guidelines while still keeping a listing to themselves.

The policy of the NAR is that listings must be added to the MLS within one business day of the seller signing the listing contract. If a seller signs with a listing agent on a Friday, for example, the agent can use the weekend to do private property marketing.

Why Do Sellers Like Pocket Listings?

It sounds somewhat counterintuitive to do a pocket listing, but there’s a reason some sellers prefer this option. Sellers might like pocket listings because they want to maintain privacy. They control who has access to the property and when, and everyone won’t know they’re selling immediately.

Some sellers like pocket listings to test the market to see what the response will be like to their selling price. With pocket listings, it’s possible to adjust the price without making it look like a price cut that would otherwise show up on the MLS.

The third reason for a pocket listing is that the seller might already have a buyer. A seller might want a listing agent who will sell their property to a specific buyer.

There are ways outside of a pocket listing to achieve the things above, though.

For example, if someone wants the privacy of their listing, they can ask their agent to put the details in the agent’s remarks so they aren’t in the public sections of the listing. They can also ask the agent to verify financing before they agree to showings.

You might miss out on the best possible offer with a pocket listing if you’re a seller. You cannot know whether the buyer you’ve chosen actually has the strongest offer.

There’s also the potential for a listing agent to violate Fair Housing laws if they choose who can see a home. There may be a greater risk of discrimination in these situations, so an agent has to be very careful.

Finally, pocket listings can affect home values negatively. If the sale isn’t in the MLS, it will not show up as a comparable listing if an appraiser or agent tries to determine its worth.

Again, while a pocket listing might have its advantages, they’re something to be cautious of for sellers and their agents because they also have risks.

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

What Happens When Companies Buy Houses?


If you’ve ever seen signs for companies that say they buy houses, or maybe you’ve been approached by one, you might find yourself wondering exactly what it is that they do.

There are a couple of different types of companies that buy houses cash. There are those ones that you see advertising in your community, but there are also tech-driven companies that do it.

How Do Home Buying Companies Work?

If you want to sell your house, you typically will hire a real estate agent, and then they’ll place it on the MLS. If you want to sell it fast without doing work or paying a commission, then you might instead try to sell it as-is.

There are companies that buy houses as they currently are for cash. This can mean local cash buyers, investor networks, or iBuyers.

• A local cash buyer is typically just someone who will buy your house and either flip it or turn it into a rental.
• An investor network is one of those companies that you see advertising most often, and they’re local franchises. They don’t pay much for houses because they usually focus on ones that are in pretty bad shape, and then then they flip them.
• Then, there’s the term iBuyer. The term stands for instant buyer. These are companies that use algorithms and data in the form of what are called automated valuation models to determine what your home’s worth. Then, based on their data, they’ll make an offer.

What Are the Benefits for You?

If you want to sell your home quickly, one of the three above cash buyer options can be good.

The vast majority will buy your house just like it currently is, so you don’t have to make repairs or updates, nor do you have to worry about staging it.

They’ll usually be flexible in helping you find financing solutions, and you’re probably going to get a relatively fast closing. These companies don’t have to go through the traditional financing process from a bank, so they might be able to close in seven to 14 days.

You’re also avoiding real estate commissions and closing costs.

Are There Downsides?

While selling your home quickly and easily to a company can seem great, there are certainly some downsides you have to be aware of.

First, there’s a pretty high likelihood you’re not going to get full market value. You’re trading that for simplicity and lower costs.

There’s also always a risk of predatory tactics or even scams.

If a company is trying to pressure you into selling your home for far less than it’s worth, that’s a problem.

There are a lot of legitimate companies that do buy houses for cash, but not all of them are completely legit. You have to do some research if you’re thinking about having a company buy your house to make sure it’s not a scam.

How Does the Process Work?

If you’re interested in the direct-buying model, which is ultimately what all the examples above are considered, then you might wonder what the process looks like.

Companies might vary slightly in how they do things, but typically, the home buying company might come to you, or you could approach them. The buyer or company will get some general information, and then they’ll schedule a walk-through.

The buyer will determine the market value of the home once any updates or repairs are made. At that point, they’ll present the seller with an offer, which will include the price they’re willing to pay, a closing date, and terms of the sale.

There are negotiations, and then once everyone accepts the offer, a closing date is set.

When it comes to direct buyers you just have to think about what your priorities are and how those weigh against the potential downsides. If your biggest goal is to move quickly and avoid having two mortgages, a home buying company can be a good option if they’re reputable.

If you’re in no rush and you want the highest price for your home, then you might go the traditional route in selling it.

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

When Should You Lower Your Home’s Listing Price?


As the U.S. housing market appears to finally be cooling somewhat, some buyers are breathing a sigh of relief. Home sellers are frantically entering the market, hoping to take advantage of the remnants of the pricing boom.

For the four weeks ending on May 22, almost 1 in 5 sellers dropped the price of their home. It’s the highest rate since 2019. During the same four-week period, there were 13% fewer “homes for sale” searches on Google, and there was a 12% year-over-year decline in tours and related services from agents on Redfin.

Sellers are still asking a premium for homes, with the median asking price up 17.8% year-over-year. However, sellers are also starting to see the writing on the wall as buyers are more cost-conscious with rising interest rates. Thus the price drops.

If you’re a seller with a home on the market, how do you know it’s time to lower the price?

Price Is Usually the Reason Your Home Is Still On the Market

If your home has been on the market for a while and it’s not getting the attention you think it should, or you’re not getting offers, it’s frustrating. More often than not, according to real estate professionals, the issue is the price.

Buyers can overlook many other factors if they feel like the price is right.

Some of the signs your price might be too high include getting little traffic and no offers. You might also get good traffic, but the offers you’re getting are a lowball. A third sign of thinking about having good traffic but negative reactions from potential buyers. If buyers consistently make comments about the price, it might be time to pay attention to what they’re saying.

When To Lower the Price

If you think you should reduce the price of your home, you should do it quickly. Usually, within two weeks of initially putting it on the market is ideal, especially with inventory remaining low. As a rule, you’ll see the most activity within the first 21 days of your home going on the market, so make sure you’re taking advantage.

You’ll also want to look at some of the indicators in the housing market where you are, like the average days on the market.

One guideline that some real estate pros recommend is a price adjustment after a house is on the market for ten days.

There are marketing steps your realtor should take before a price reduction. For example, maybe they need to revisit your photos and ensure they’re good enough. The home also needs to be listed in multiple places, and you should address buyer feedback.

What to Know About Price Cuts

No one wants to make a price reduction, but the reality is that you may even have to do it more than once. The more your days on the market go up your potential need for price adjustments increases.

It’s advisable to make no more than three price reductions. If you go beyond that, it will start to become a red flag to buyers.

You also want to be careful and strategic in how much you reduce the price. For example, if you priced high to start with, maybe you reduce it by around 4% to no more than 9%. If your initial price was comparable to market value, you might need an incremental cut.

Some real estate agents think it’s better to go ahead and reduce your home by a significant enough amount initially, so you don’t have to do it more than once. That’s something to talk to your agent about. There is the potential that multiple smaller cuts are just dragging out the process of selling your home, which isn’t what you want.

Position Realty
480-213-5251

Decorating Tricks for Hiding Kids’ Messes While Selling Your Home


Keeping the house together during the selling process is a challenge. Making sure everything is just right for showings and open houses can be exhausting and overwhelming Throw kids into the mix, and things can get downright chaotic. Fortunately, a few small decor choices can help conceal kid clutter—changing your “for sale” sign to “sold.”

Hide in Plain Sight

With overflowing toy boxes and tea-party set-ups overtaking the living room, it may be unrealistic to banish all kid stuff to other rooms. Instead, make use of your furniture’s built-in compartments and drawers. Have a storage ottoman next to the sofa? Fill it with everything from action figures and dolls to coloring books, art supplies, stuffed animals and more. Divide the credenza in the family room so that your little ones can store toys behind its closed doors. Accent the open shelves with ceramic vases, family photos, decorative carafes and other appealing decor items.

If your built-in storage is already in use, opt for two or three woven baskets with lids instead. Place them wherever you want, whether it’s next to the loveseat or on the bottom shelf of a console table. Buyers will be too busy appreciating your home’s cleanliness and open floor space to think about what’s inside.

Hide Within Reach

Families in smaller living spaces might consider another strategy—underbed and attic storage. While the underside of your child’s bed may be already home to all sorts of tchotchkes, encourage kids to neaten it up with rolling plastic or rattan storage bins. Discreetly stow away everything from dress-up clothes to seasonal clothing in multiple containers. Slide them out of sight, then help your little one make the bed with an oversized quilt that conceals what’s hidden below. The best part? These containers can still be used after moving into the new bedroom or playroom.

For toys that are too big to fit in this space, such as kids’ teepees and play tents, consider collapsing them and stowing behind a dresser. If the dresser has legs that makes it easy to spot what’s behind it, opt for a chest instead.

Rotate Toys in Longer-Term Storage

Consider storing bins of toys longer-term and swapping them out every few weeks. In addition to the attic and basement, the back corner of a deep closet is a great place to stack storage tubs filled with everything from building blocks and board games to miniature cars and pull toys. Strategically hide them behind long coats so a quick peek inside the closet doesn’t give anything away. Better yet, switch out the storage tubs for suitcases. Rotate the toys in storage every few weeks–kids will have renewed interest when they come out of hiding.

Minimize and Add Some Style

Rather than attempting to conceal every toy, consider downsizing. Prior to the first showing, help your little one sort through toys, determining what still gets played with and what doesn’t. Sort into “keep,” “donate,” and “throw away.” This streamlines the cleanup process and makes it easier to stow away what remains. Bonus? You’ll have less to move when the time comes. For every item your children give up, consider rewarding them with small change or a trip to a favorite restaurant or ice cream shop.

For kids’ areas like bedrooms and playrooms, embrace the playful nature and just add a little style. Choose bookcases and desks with useful cubbies and shelves, and dress up the space with vibrant and unique artwork. Inspire imagination in potential buyers (and keep the space useful while your home is on the market) by choosing a few colorful supplies and knick-knacks to display.

Strategically rearrange home decor to hide kids’ messes while your house is being shown, and potential buyers will see a clean space that they’ll want to make their own.

Position Realty
480-213-5251

What Does a Real Estate Agent Do for Sellers?


When you’re trying to sell your home, you want to work with a realtor who will help make things as simple for you as possible while getting you the maximum amount of money.

If you’re a relatively new real estate agent and you’re wondering what sellers want from you, they want you to be their advocate above everything else. They want to be able to trust you, transparency, and to feel like you’re minimizing the headaches they might experience during the process.

A great seller’s agent should be adept at what they do in multiple areas, including the following.

Pricing

One of the best things a seller’s agent can do for you is to price your home properly. Pricing a home is often described as an art and a science.

Agents use science in terms of comparable sales that happened recently. The art comes in through knowing the local market, having experience, and also using a sense of intuition.

A good agent can find that price balance that will keep a seller competitive and make sure they’re getting what their home is truly worth.

An agent will create a comparative market analysis, which reviews homes nearby that are on the market, pending, or might have recently sold. Your agent might have sold some of these comps or maybe, at a minimum, have seen them in person.

You may also be wondering how an agent is any better than an online valuation model. In reality, there is a relatively high error rate with these tools. For example, according to Zillow, its online calculator estimates around 20% of the actual value 87.6% of the time, leaving a big margin for error. These tools can’t account for the nuances and variables that an experienced agent can, when pricing a home.

Great sellers’ agents are also present for inspections and appraisals to ensure there’s no spinning from the buyer’s agent. For example, if an inspector says a house will need a new air conditioning unit in five years, the agent for the buyer could spin this by saying the A/C is bad. A seller’s agent can prevent this from happening.

Getting Your Home Ready

Getting a home ready to hit the market is about more than cleaning it up. Listing agents know how to maximize what you can get for your property.

A listing agent can go through and find improvements you need to make, and they can also recommend people who can help you get them done.

Before you make any of the improvements your agent suggests, they’ll go over the return on your investment you might expect.

Along with repairs that could be needed, the agent can stage it if needed. Staging can include removing anything unnecessary from furniture to clutter. The agent will know how to help potential buyers visualize themselves in the space and picture their belongings there.

Once your home is picture-perfect, your agent can hire a photographer to take professional photos.

Marketing Expertise

A skilled seller’s agent will be great at marketing. They know what buyers are looking for and how to get your home in front of them and make it appealing.

Your agent showcases your home on the MLS and social media. They also do traditional marketing like open houses and distributing flyers.

Screening Buyers

Trying to sell a home is time-consuming and stressful enough without dealing with unqualified buyers. Your agent will work on your behalf to ensure no one is wasting your time. Even a buyer who is truly interested in your home might not have the financing.

Agents are earning money through a commission, so it’s in your best interest and theirs to screen out and eliminate unqualified buyers.

Your agent can work only with pre-approved buyers who have already gone through a financial verification.

Overall, a good seller’s agent can offer you a lot of value, and many of the things they do you can’t or perhaps wouldn’t want to do yourself.

Position Realty
480-213-5251

What Sellers Should Know About Pets and Showings

Buyers and their agents need to feel welcome to look at the property at their leisure without danger or distractions. So while you adore your sweet-tempered pit bull rescue, he could turn territorial, barking and growling at potential homebuyers. And it could cost you the opportunity to sell your home.

Think of buyers as guests and work to make them feel comfortable as they consider your home for purchase. If you have a protective dog or one that isn’t well-trained, drop her off at doggie day care when you know your home is going to be shown. Or call a pet sitter on call who can take your pet for a long walk while your home is being shown.

If you must leave the dog at home, don’t expect real estate professionals to handle your dog. They are not dog trainers and should not be expected to risk a dog bite to show your home to buyers. This is where crate-training can be a huge advantage. At least your dog is secured and more inclined to relax while your home is being shown.

What you should not do is leave your dog loose in the backyard. Not only does the buyer not have access to part of the property, but your dog could bark so much that the din drives the buyer out of the house. Also, don’t leave your dog at the neighbor’s. It’s just as bad if the buyer believes a noisy dog lives next door.

Housecats can also repel buyers. Most homes aren’t designed with a convenient place for the litter box, so cat owners do the best they can. Owners get used to the smells of catboxes and fishy foods, which could be offensive to buyers who don’t have cats.

While buyers aren’t afraid of being cat-attacked, cats can still be startling — they appear silently without warning and they jump on furniture and counters. And if you’ve taught your cat to jump on your shoulders, you can imagine what could happen to an unsuspecting buyer.

Exotic pets can be showing-stoppers, too. Birds are gorgeous, but a puffed-up screeching cockatoo can be intimidating and dangerous. Imagine a buyer bringing small children who can’t resist sticking their fingers in the cage and quickly get rewarded with a nasty bite from a very strong beak.

When you’re selling a home, keep in mind that the first two weeks on the market are crucial. That’s the time you want your home to be pristine and move-in ready. You don’t want any noise, smells or stains that could put buyers off.

Sell your home faster and for more money by making your home as inviting and accessible as possible, so that buyers have no barriers to overcome. Accessibility to your home is just as important as price, condition and location.

Position Realty: 480-213-5251

Seller’s Disclosures: What Does a Seller Have to Reveal?

If you’re making an offer on a house, one of the first things you’ll get as far as documentation is a property disclosure. This is also referred to as a property disclosure statement, a real estate disclosure form, and a home disclosure.

The specifics vary by state, but most states require some type of seller disclosure.

The goal is to add transparency to the transaction process.

In a disclosure, a seller provides written information about known things that could impact the property’s value, like termite damage or a leaky roof. The disclosure will also include details like the homeowners’ association fees and restrictions.

These documents are meant to provide buyers with a comprehensive overview of the property before buying it.

On the seller’s side, the disclosure has the benefit of helping them avoid a future lawsuit if a new owner discovers hidden information.

The Basics

A seller typically fills out a standard disclosure form with yes or no questions about their property. The form will also have space for more details and explanations.

Some states have multiple versions of a disclosure form that comply with state law.

A real estate agent should fully understand the legal requirements for disclosures. If you’re a seller, your listing agent will provide you with the right documents that you fill out. Your agent should help you go through the completed forms if you’re a buyer.

The disclosure isn’t a replacement for a home inspection, but it might bring to light issues that you have an inspector take a closer look at.

Disclosures only require sellers to share the issues with the house that they’re aware of. There’s still the potential for there to be hidden problems.

A purchase offer will have a deadline for sellers to provide disclosures and details on the number of days a buyer has to review them.

Then, the offer should also have details on the buyer’s right to change their mind or back out based on the disclosures.

What’s Included?

Seller’s disclosure requirements, as mentioned, vary depending on your state. Some of the common issues they often include are:

  • Leaks or roof problems
  • Previous flooding or water leaks in the basement
  • Foundation cracks or defects
  • Issues with the air conditioning, heating, or plumbing systems
  • Defects in doors, floors, walls, or windows
  • Sewer or septic system problems
  • Infestations by wood-destroying insects or damage
  • Unsafe conditions related to lead, asbestos, or radon
  • Boundary disputes

Federal Requirements

While most disclosure guidelines are set at the state level, under federal law, if you’re selling a home built before 1978, you have to disclose that paint may be lead-based. 1978 is the year lead-based paint was banned for consumer use.

A seller of a home built before 1978 would also have to give buyers an EPA pamphlet about protecting their family from lead in the house and give buyers ten days to do a paint inspection or risk assessment for lead-based paint.

What to Look for In a Disclosure

If you’re a buyer, you may feel a little overwhelmed by the seller’s disclosure, and again, this is where a good agent can help you. If you aren’t sure about anything, don’t be afraid to ask.

One issue to watch for is mold or water damage.

Termite damage is another red flag. If termites aren’t taken care of, it can significantly impact a home’s structure, and a homeowner’s policy often won’t cover this damage.

Some states require that sellers identify if their property is part of a FEMA-designated floodplain. If this isn’t required in your state, you should look into it independently.

What Does Caveat Emptor Mean?

Finally, caveat emptor is Latin for “let the buyer beware.” In real estate, this means that it’s up to the buyer to be fully aware of any issues with the home.

If the disclosure laws in your state don’t require the seller to mention something, you have to figure it out on your own.

The only times you would have recourse as a buyer is if the seller intentionally sought to defraud you.

In general, it’s up to buyers to have a home inspected and follow up on issues before the transaction goes through.

Position Realty: 480-213-5251

Cleaning Your Home Before Selling? 5 Surfaces to Leave to a Professional

When cleaning your home, it’s easy to begin feeling burdened by all the areas that you’ll have to tackle. This is especially true for those surfaces that just won’t seem to clean up no matter how hard you scrub and wipe. To save yourself some effort, leave this type of work to a professional. With their higher strength cleaning solutions and tools, they’ll be able to make different parts of your home look like new again. The surfaces that are best for professional cleaning, in particular, can be found below.

1. Upholstery

Cleaning your upholstery can help get rid of stains, dirt, and even bad smells. However, many cleaning solutions on the market can damage fabrics and leave them discolored or ruined. When you hire a professional to clean instead, they’ll use gentle yet effective cleaning solutions that will refresh your upholstery beautifully. This can be done on your ottomans, couches, chairs, and even pillows. More importantly, most cleaning companies guarantee their work so you are protected from damage. This is one of the best solutions if you have antique furniture or fabrics that you just need to have deep cleaned.

2. Stone

If the stone in your home, such as the granite or marble on your countertops, is beginning to look worn, then hiring a professional is a great way to go. They will use time-tested cleaning solutions and techniques to carefully clean and seal your surfaces so they are restored to their natural beauty once again. This can even help get rid of scratches, stains, and other signs of wear and tear, making it especially beneficial to the value of your home.

The equipment that professionals have is expensive and difficult to find, so you’ll be saving money by hiring someone instead of taking on the job yourself. What’s even better is the fact that the professionals will do all the work so you can avoid the physical distress that can come with a large stone cleaning job.

3. Tile

Professional tile and grout cleaning can get rid of deep down stains and even make your grout look like new again. While you could try to do this on your own, it would take hours of back-breaking work and it’s very unlikely you’d end up with results that would mimic those of a professional. By hiring an expert, you save time and enjoy the look of new tiles without having to do any renovations in your home.

If you don’t think your tile and grout needs to be cleaned because you sweep and mop often, get down on the ground to take a closer look. Chances are, you’re going to see many areas that are discolored and some that are completely stained. While this can be disheartening if you clean often, professional service can resolve these issues.

4. Windows

Cleaning your home’s exterior windows can be difficult and even dangerous if you have more than one story. When you hire a professional instead, they use special equipment and cleaning solutions to wipe these clean in the safest manner possible. Most companies even include interior window washing in their price, which can make your windows shine like new again.

5. Wood Floors

Regular mopping and sweeping will help keep your wood floors in good condition for years to come. However, even with weekly cleaning, they can begin to fade and look scratched due to daily use. If you want to restore the appearance and overall condition of your hardwood floors, then hiring a professional is crucial. They have the experience that ensures your floors will be deeply cleaned and restored with zero mistakes. In just a short amount of time, their professional techniques will transform your floors with no effort on your part.

Give Yourself a Break

Some surfaces in your home are just better left to professional cleaners. Not only do they know how to carefully treat all types of materials but they also have higher quality machinery and solutions. Their help can make your home shine and save you from unnecessary cleaning throughout the year.

Position Realty
(480) 213-5251

Safety Tips for Showing Your Home

Showing your home is an integral part of the overall process to ultimately sell it. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, there were concerns about being safe when strangers came to look at your home. Now, with the pandemic continuing, homeowners are even more cautious.

With that in mind, the following are some general safety tips when you show your home, but also some related to COVID-19.

Avoid An Open House

If you’re a seller, you might want to talk to your agent and tell them you don’t want to have any open houses. A lot of real estate agents don’t think they’re beneficial anyway. During an open house, you’re taking a more significant risk than you are if you have scheduled private showings.

During an open house, it’s not only more likely that someone could target your valuables or look around to come back to your home later, but you also have more exposure to people who might be sick.

Have Your Agent Meet with Prospective Buyers First

If you’re feeling nervous and unsure about showings, talk to your agent about potentially meeting with prospective buyers outside of your home in a neutral setting before having an in-home showing. From the perspective of your real estate agent, it might add more work to their job, but at the end of the day, safety is critical.

When you do have showings, you want to make sure, regardless of whether or not your real estate agent met with them beforehand that they’re qualified buyers. You certainly don’t want people coming during a pandemic because they’re window-shopping or they’re just curious or being nosy.

You only want people who are serious about buying a home.

To find qualified buyers, there are various ways to screen them. For example, you or your agent can screen them using only appointments and asking buyers to do a virtual tour before an in-person showing.

Your agent can request a pre-qualification letter before setting a showing date.

Set Up Your Home For Contactless Showing

As far as COVID-19 concerns, if you’re a seller you might request that your real estate agent sets up your home for contactless showings. To do that, your agent might have their own strategies, but recommendations include opening all the doors and cabinets and turning on all the lights. Your agent can also pull all shades so that buyers can see everything without coming in contact with high-touch surfaces.

You can also do these things as a homeowner. Think about the touchpoints throughout your home and how you can help people avoid them when they look at your home.

Sanitize After Showings

It’s a good rule of thumb even outside of COVID-19 to sanitize your home after showings because it’s not the only infectious disease out there. You should wipe surfaces with a disinfecting wipe and do a quick clean.

Put Certain Items Away

There are some items you don’t want to have on display during showings. Your valuables and heirlooms are more obvious, but there are less obvious things to put away. Prescription pain medications are one example. Your mail and bills are other things to put away in preparation for a home showing.

Use Smart Home Technology

Finally, you might consider using smart home security while your home is on the market because this is when it’s especially vulnerable to various threats. Plus, if you add some safety and security features, it can make your home more appealing to buyers. At a minimum, using a smart lockbox is a good idea because it gives you control over who comes into your home no matter where you are.

Could Your Garage Get Your Home Sold?

You’ve made updates to your kitchen. Made sure your bathrooms look fresh and clean. Decluttered EVERYTHING. Even dropped your price. But your house still isn’t selling. Could your garage make the difference?

It just might.

“When prospective buyers visit your for-sale home, they’re going to inspect every room in the house—even the garage,” said Sara Reese of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida on RISMedia. “It’s not exactly a glamorous space, but if your garage is a mess, it’s going to send a bad signal and turn off visitors. Therefore, it’s helpful to spend a little time in your garage and make it look its best.”

Here are a few tips to get your garage in great shape.

Replacing your garage door

If your garage door works perfectly fine, replacing it may not be a high priority. But consider it curb appeal. Garage doors are large items, and they take up a lot of eye space. Especially if your garage faces the street, a dented, chipped, or dingy door could be stealing focus from the rest of your otherwise-put-together house.

“Remodeling Magazine found in its 2019 Cost vs. Value study that an upscale garage door replacement can actually net you a return of 97.5%,” said HomeLight. “A new garage door will run you between $300 to $1,500, depending upon the size and style, while installation typically costs between $500 and $800.”

If the garage makes a loud or creaky sound when it opens, spending a few hundred dollars to replace the garage door opener is a no-brainer.

Finishing out the garage

Finishing out your garage isn’t recommended if you’re looking for the best return on investment (ROI). While this type of upgrade may appeal to a niche buyer, most aren’t going to pay extra for it, and you likely won’t recoup your costs.

Just adding epoxy to the floor can cost between $1,400 and $3,000. You could do it yourself for about $100, but the process can be tricky and the results may reflect your novice status.

If you don’t want to go to the trouble and expense of epoxying the floors, make sure you get them nice and clean. “If your garage floors are cracked and covered in oil stains from cars gone by, it’s a good idea to give the floor a good pressure washing and repair those cracks (depending on how big or noticeable they are),” said Nexx. According to homewyse, power washing the garage floor will cost around $200.

Adding storage

After giving the garage a good cleaning, this is the No. 1 must-do to get the space in good shape. According to Kiplinger, 85% of buyers said they want garage storage.

You can easily spend thousands on dedicated garage storage systems that make the space look pristine, but creating spaces to neatly stash your stuff doesn’t have to be costly. A few large metal shelving units placed side by side will only cost you a few hundred dollars. These freestanding units are popular with buyers because the doors hide messes. And, when you put a few of them together, you can turn the top into a work surface.

Adding a garage

If you don’t have a garage and you’re in an area where most homes do, adding one might be on your mind. Your real estate agent should be able to advise you on whether or not this is a smart move, especially given the expense and expected ROI. “At a national level, home sellers can expect to recover close to 64.8% of their initial garage addition costs,” said Clever. “Let’s say that you invest $27,000 in adding a garage to your home, you may recover about $17,496 when you sell your home.”

Doing a garage conversion

Perhaps you’re thinking of converting your garage to living space. It is less expensive than adding on; According to Realtor.com, a garage renovation “comes in at $11,000 on average.”

While a conversion isn’t necessarily a recommended strategy if you’re looking to get your home sold right away because of the expense and the time involved, there are some instances where this might be a good move.

“Nearly 30% of shoppers rate a garage as one of the most important home features, just ahead of an updated kitchen and open floor plan. But “a ‘well-done’ garage conversion to living space can give you up to an 80% ROI.”

The decision of whether to go this route largely hinges on that expense, but also on the specific area in which your home is located. It’s best to talk with your real estate agent before dropping the hammer on your garage conversion. It could be that homes without garage in your area just don’t sell. Or, perhaps there is a growing trend toward multi-generational living locally that could inform your renovation and make your home especially desirable.

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