Rancho Cucamonga Real Estate

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Archive for the month “June, 2012”

Rancho Cucamonga Real Estate : 3 Reasons To Update Home Before Selling

Q: I’m thinking of selling my home, and know my carpet and tile need updating. Is it best to do it now or give an allowance on the selling price for these upgrades? The same with appliances?

A: Ahh, the age-old, existential question faced by buyers and sellers since time eternal: update or credit? There are dozens of ways to weigh the pros and cons of this dilemma. Some would have you do some complicated mathematical analyses to calculate whether the return on the investment it would cost you to update these items is worth it, compared to the assumed incremental marketing power of offering your home at a lower price.

I, for one, think that addressing these sorts of questions mathematically is impossible to do without taking on a boatload of error-prone assumptions. That’s because what does and doesn’t work with buyers is not necessarily logical or calculable, nor are some of the other factors you should account for as you make this decision. My vote is that you should at least consider replacing them now, but only after you get input from an expert local real estate agent or stager on your color, material and aesthetic choices.

Here are the three primary factors underlying my recommendation:

1. If you’re not yet 100 percent sure you’re selling, replacing them now allows you to enjoy the upgrades. So many sellers, and I include my younger self, tend to make the upgrades and updates they’ve long dreamed of only when they’re planning to move, missing out on the ability to enjoy the home in its best shape. And that’s a shame. For that matter, it is not at all uncommon for home sellers to see their spruced-and-staged property and wonder why they decided to move in the first place!

In the interest of maximizing the enjoyment you get out of your home and your life now, you should at least consider updating these items if you can afford to, and enjoying them as long as you can before you do decide to sell the place, taking extra special care to live lightly on them in the interim.

2. Replacing them now might boost your home’s chance of selling more than a price discount. I do not exaggerate when I say that in many areas, today’s market is better for sellers than it has been for years. That said, there are still loads of short sales and foreclosures on the market that are priced aggressively low, many of which also need updating, and those are your competition. You might not be able to price your home enough lower than these homes to make the discount for updating obvious to homebuyers who see your home and also visit the competition.

Additionally, when a home is in need of the updates you mention, it may — simply put — show poorly. And buyers simply like homes that look move-in-ready. Some won’t even consider fixers, and I’ve even seen some die-hard amateur handypersons be tempted with the allure of a polished, freshly updated home (and the work-free weekends it promises).

If a few thousand dollars in basic updates and appliances makes the difference between your home showing like a fixer-upper and showing like a showplace, doing the updates before you list the place can be the difference between it selling or not — period.

3. Replacing them yourself might be more cost-effective. Buyers almost always overestimate what things like carpet, paint and appliances will cost, so they might scoff at whatever you offer as too little, and request a bigger credit or discount than you had planned On the other hand, if you have the items replaced yourself, you can be as aggressive as you want to be in terms of shopping around, getting deals, doing the painting yourself, hitting up the appliance outlets or calling in favors with any vendors or contractors you or your agent might know.

If the work is done well and the outcome is beautiful, depending on your local market dynamics, putting a well-prepared, updated home on the market may even position you to get more than one offer (and a better price, to boot).

There’s no one right answer to this question for every homeowner. Some may not have the money, or may be in a hot enough market that buyers bite on every listing. But my experience has led me to generally prefer putting a polished property on the market over a discounted cosmetic fixer every time.

Tara-Nicholle Nelson is author of “The Savvy Woman’s Homebuying Handbook” and “Trillion Dollar Women: Use Your Power to Make Buying and Remodeling Decisions.” Tara is also the Consumer Ambassador and Educator for real estate listings search site Trulia.com. Ask her a real estate question online or visit her website, www.rethinkrealestate.com.

 

 

Copyright 2012 Tara-Nicholle Nelson

All rights reserved. This article may not be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever, in part or in whole, without written permission of Inman News. Use of this article without permission is a violation of federal copyright law.

Rancho Cucamonga Real Estate: 3 mistakes when buying a new home

DEAR BARRY: We bought our home when it was brand-new. There had been another buyer before us, but he backed out of the deal because of a foundation problem. The builder disclosed that the problem had been repaired. We were desperate and angry, so we purchased the property. Now we are selling it, and the buyer’s home inspector says the foundation was not properly repaired. It seems that we’ve gotten ourselves into a real mess. What could we have done to prevent this? –Marion

DEAR MARION: You made three critical mistakes when you bought the property. The first was to buy it when you were “desperate and angry.” Regardless of why you were feeling that way, a home purchase should never be based on negative emotions. Property is very expensive, and that kind of expenditure should be made only with clear thinking and sober rationale.

The second mistake was to accept the condition of the foundation without written proof of the repair work. Adequate proof would have been an engineering report on the foundation problem and a contractor’s receipt for the corrective work.

The final error was purchasing the property without hiring a qualified home inspector. Buyers often assume that a new home does not need a home inspection, and many homeowners have come to regret that unfortunate assumption. Had you hired a home inspector, you might have learned that the foundation was defective. Then you could have had it repaired by the builder, or you could have backed out on the deal.
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New construction image via Shutterstock.New construction image via Shutterstock.

DEAR BARRY: We bought our home when it was brand-new. There had been another buyer before us, but he backed out of the deal because of a foundation problem. The builder disclosed that the problem had been repaired. We were desperate and angry, so we purchased the property. Now we are selling it, and the buyer’s home inspector says the foundation was not properly repaired. It seems that we’ve gotten ourselves into a real mess. What could we have done to prevent this? –Marion

DEAR MARION: You made three critical mistakes when you bought the property. The first was to buy it when you were “desperate and angry.” Regardless of why you were feeling that way, a home purchase should never be based on negative emotions. Property is very expensive, and that kind of expenditure should be made only with clear thinking and sober rationale.

The second mistake was to accept the condition of the foundation without written proof of the repair work. Adequate proof would have been an engineering report on the foundation problem and a contractor’s receipt for the corrective work.

The final error was purchasing the property without hiring a qualified home inspector. Buyers often assume that a new home does not need a home inspection, and many homeowners have come to regret that unfortunate assumption. Had you hired a home inspector, you might have learned that the foundation was defective. Then you could have had it repaired by the builder, or you could have backed out on the deal.
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The question now is whether the home is still covered by the state mandated builders’ warranty. You should check with an attorney or with the appropriate state bureaucracy to see where you stand in that regard.

DEAR BARRY: Our buyers hired a home inspector and he has made an expensive mess. While testing the dishwasher, he left room to inspect other parts of the house. We hadn’t used the dishwasher in years and the door seals had become dry and cracked. By the time the inspector returned to the kitchen, the floor was flooded, and the hardwood flooring is now warped and must be replaced. Are we stuck with the cost of this repair, or is the home inspector liable? –Ralph

DEAR RALPH: The home inspector has just learned an expensive lesson: Don’t leave the room when testing an old dishwasher. Had he remained in the room while the fixture was running, the leaking would have been noticed when it started, and the unit could have been turned off before the flooding occurred.

A good practice for home inspectors is to start the dishwasher first when inspecting a kitchen. That way, the unit can be running while the inspector is evaluating the cooktop, oven, vent hood, sink plumbing, cabinets, countertops, and so on. By the time these other items have been inspected, there will have been time for dishwasher leakage to become apparent.

You should discuss the issue of liability with the inspector, and be sure to ask if he has insurance for this kind of accident.

To write to Barry Stone, please visit him on the Web at http://www.housedetective.com.

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