When you bought your first house, you likely felt excitement with a hint of nervousness and maybe you even had a “What have I gotten myself into?” kind of moment. However, those emotions passed and you settled in and made that house your home. Whether you’ve stayed in this home for a couple of years or a couple of decades, when you decide it’s time to sell, you might experience a very similar emotional roller coaster, especially in today’s housing market. To ease your stress, here are 10 awesome real estate tips that will help you get started and possibly even take some of the emotion out of the ride.
Published On March 14, 2021 by Alison Bentley
Updated on March 30th, 2021
Tip #1 Find the perfect listing agent
Probably the best real estate tip there is: find a dedicated, responsive, and knowledgeable real estate agent – someone you can trust to guide you through every step of selling your home. A good seller’s agent will make informed recommendations about a listing price, advise you on which repairs will help you sell your home, and make recommendations about decluttering, staging, and maximizing your curb appeal.
A good seller’s agent shines the most when it comes time to negotiate an offer. The goal is to make sure you earn top dollar for your house and to sell it quickly. This process starts by honing in on the right listing price.
Tip #2 Determine the best time to list your home
Reliable real estate wisdom suggests that spring into summer is when most people start hunting for a new house. Buyers will typically research properties online months before touring their first home in person. This way they can understand how much house they can afford in neighborhoods that appeal to them most.
Usually, the end of March or the beginning of April is considered the start of homebuying season. However, this year’s homebuying season seems to have hit early as nearly half the homes listed mid-January into February went under contract in under two weeks. Meaning we are currently in a seller’s market and you don’t have to wait to fetch top dollar for your home.
Tip #3 Professional photography and 3D walkthroughs are key
Many real estate agents now offer 3D tours of their listings. Virtual walkthroughs are a massive advantage for both buyers and sellers. Buyers can “shop” any time of the day or night, and sellers can “show” their house 24/7. It also cuts down on showings to only the serious buyers. If a buyer is genuinely interested, they will view the virtual walkthrough (probably several times) and then request a showing.
Professional photography is another great option to show your home in its best light.. Homes listed with high-quality, professional images are known to sell quicker and for more money. A professional real estate photographer will capture each room at the best angle, and highlight its best features. You can also request photos shot at dusk with both interior and exterior lights shining. It’s all about painting those special pictures in your buyer’s mind.
If you’re selling a luxury listing with a view or large plot of land, consider drone photography to fully capture everything your property has to offer.
Tip #4 Handle the repairs from a pre-listing home inspection
It might be tempting to put off small repairs and let the next owner handle them. Unfortunately, if you list a house with evident and necessary repairs, prospective buyers will also scrutinize your property more closely for larger deferred maintenance issues. If you want to be proactive, one of the best real estate tips for selling your home is setting up a pre-listing home inspection.
When you choose to fix everything the inspector finds before you list your house, you gain valuable peace of mind during the closing process. Your buyer will most likely want their own inspection as part of the sales contract, but when that inspector finds everything is in perfect order, your buyer will have confidence in the sale.
Tip #5 Boost your curb appeal
It may feel counterintuitive to work on the outside of your home as you get ready to sell. But when you keep up with lawn maintenance, pull weeds, fix the fence, power-wash the siding, and clean up the cobwebs, your property will stand out and really “wow” prospective buyers.
Think back to the last time you drove around looking at houses for sale. If the house looked like it was in rough shape on the outside, most of the time, you probably didn’t bother to request a showing. Good curb appeal will draw buyers into your home. They will start to envision themselves playing basketball, grilling in the backyard, or relaxing on the porch. You want to help buyers fall in love with your house and curb appeal will help you do that.
Tip #6 Declutter… and then declutter some more
It’s no secret, we all accumulate stuff. However, you want potential buyers to be looking at your home, not your belongings. So another great real estate tip is to have your home appear move-in ready so homebuyers can see themselves – and their things – in your space. To do this, you’ll need to be relentless about removing as many personal items as possible and commit to a minimalist lifestyle, at least until you go under contract on your house.
Of course, you have items you use daily and weekly. Keep those accessible but out of sight if you can. Remove anything seasonal, like decorations, extra blankets, or anything you won’t use for months. Renting a storage unit or on-site storage container could be helpful and allow you to eliminate extra furniture and other items from your home until you move into your new space. It’s all about perception. A house with minimal furniture, unstuffed closets, tasteful artwork, and a general lack of surface clutter will look clean, spacious, and appealing.
Tip #7 Stage your home
One of the most important real estate tips is staging your home. Key staging tactics involve placing furniture and throw pillows invitingly. You can also set a dining room or kitchen table. And placing a vase or two of fresh flowers around the home is a nice touch. The purpose of staging is to show buyers the home’s potential. You want all the main rooms – kitchen, dining room, living room, bathrooms, and master bedroom – to create the feeling that they are already home.
Tip #8 Always be ready for a showing
When you list your home, you could get calls from agents within hours regarding potential buyers who want to see your home. It’s easier to handle those calls if you do your best to keep your home “show ready.” Of course, that involves keeping the home clean at a minimum. Before you list the house, do a good deep cleaning in every room.
Be sure to give extra attention to air vents and ductwork by cleaning out the dust and any debris stuck in the vent. Dust all remaining furniture and artwork. Wash the windows and glass doors so they sparkle, and run the vacuum to help refresh the carpets.
Finally, use an odor remover to eliminate any pet odors or lingering smells from last night’s dinner. You can make an incredibly positive impression if the only scent a buyer remembers is the smell of fresh-baked cookies or fresh flowers.
Tip #9 Accommodate requests for last-minute showings
Unfortunately, buyers are not always available to see the home when it’s most convenient for you. Here’s a list so you can easily clean up and be out of the house in 20 minutes.
And real estate tip #10 Respond to offers in a timely manner
Be respectful of all reasonable offers. You know what price you’ll accept and on what terms, including what you’d be willing to negotiate on if asked. Most contracts expect a response within 48 hours, but why wait? Respond with a counteroffer or acceptance as soon as a good offer comes in.
Selling your first house is not easy. But with these 10 real estate tips, moving on to the next chapter in your life can be just as exciting.
هل انت علي وشك استلام بيتك او علي مشارف انتهاء فترة الضمان؟ احمي استثمارك واكشف علي بيتك بواسطة مهندسين محترفين احصل علي تقرير فني دقيق في خلال ٤٨ ساعة حتي يقوم المطور او المقاول بتصحيح العيوب الفنية قبل ان توقع علي الاستلام
اتصل الان ليصلك عرضنا الفني والمالي
Are you about to take handover of your property, or nearing the end of the warranty period? Protect your investment and get your property inspected by professional engineers. Receive a comprehensive report with 48 hours, so that the developer or contractor rectify all defects before you sign. Call now to receive our technical and financial proposal.
Collage for some of the 100's of residential properties proudly inspected in the UAE - Property values ranges between AED 2M - 38M
This is what we observed during a recent inspection of a 4 Bedroom villa with large balcony on top of the garage. Signs of moisture intrusion on the garage ceiling that was confirmed by the condition of the balcony on the 2nd. floor.
Make sure you do a "pre-handover" inspection of the water proofing to prevent damages like this, which can be costly !
1. The house is fine, but I could make it look bad.
As the housing market recovers in the UAE, more buyers and sellers will be getting introduced to one of the most nerve-racking rituals in real estate: the home inspection.
An inspection, which usually occurs after a buyer has made an offer, is meant to be an objective analysis of a home’s condition. Twenty years ago, 75% of purchased homes in North America were inspected; today, it’s 95%, according to the American Society of Home Inspectors, a Des Plaines, Ill.-based industry trade group. The trick is finding an inspector who can relay the critical information and put it in context. Communication and a strong, yet easy to understand inspection report is key for home buyer to see the fact and take the decision accordingly, removing any subjectivity from the mix.
2. Get the house, not the inspection.
Most realtors and real estate lawyers recommend including inspection condition in purchase contracts. But in most cases the law doesn’t actually require an inspection. And in hotter markets, some buyers are opting to skip them. In a competitive bid situation “an offer for $880,000 with no inspection condition will likely win over a $900,000 offer with an inspection contingency. Of course, skipping an inspection can leave you in a different kind of hot water. If an inspection turns up a home defect, the seller will be under pressure to either drop their price or fix the problem. If the buyers waive that option, and find a defect afterward, they’re on their own when it comes to repairs.
3. Qualifications? I may not have any…
Only about two-thirds of the states and provinces in North America have laws regulating home inspectors. Luckily in the UAE, there are strict license regulations for a company to offer property inspection services. This is key because If a not-so-sharp/unqualified inspector misses a defect, this can be costly or even pose safety hazard for the home occupants in the future
It is always advised that you choose a company that is licensed and does not delegate the actual inspection to unqualified staff or skilled workers. In fact, in UAE, one of the licensing requirements is a BSc. in civil engineering in addition to many years of experience in the same field.
In addition, a company that is an active member of an international association of home inspectors, such as InterNACHI, will give you the confidence and you may be able to rest assured that you will get a thorough assessment of your valuable purchase.
4. I’ll cut corners to keep the agents happy.
The inspector ideally should work only for the client. But home inspectors also try to build relationships with agents and brokers to get more business, and that can give them an incentive to play down any problems with a house. Sometimes, the buyer’s agent tries to lean on the home inspector so as not to blow a deal. This is complete unethical business practice!
Experts say homeowners should be wary if an agent or broker that tries to discuss the inspection directly with the inspector and cut out the client.
5. Feel free to watch.
It happens: Some home inspectors are so thorough they can scare a client out of a deal. One way for a buyer to avoid that fate is to accompany the home inspector room-to-room during the actual inspection. You’ll learn a lot about the home that way, and you won’t be surprised when the home inspector comes up with a long list of fixes.
6. You should bring me in earlier.
Traditionally, inspections don’t happen until after the buyer has made an offer: the practice is so standard that most inspectors don’t think to question it. But having a home inspected before submitting an offer is a relatively frequent practice in parts of the united states, and some real-estate agents think it’s a practice worth adopting more widely.
Researchers at the real estate group Redfin in San Francisco say that offers paired with pre-inspections were successful 21 % more often than other offers, and that San Francisco home buyers whose offers included a pre-inspection were more than twice as likely to win a bidding war as those without one.
“It tells the seller that you already know what’s wrong with the home, you still want to buy it, and you’re not going to ask them to pay for repairs later,”
7. To find a serious problem, you may need someone else.
Inspectors admit that there are some problems they aren’t in a good position to detect. “An inspector can look at the exterior of an addition or a recently-remodeled basement, but without pulling the permits, there’s no way of knowing what’s behind the walls”. Luckily, the advance in modrn technology and new tools has made it much easier for home inspectors to detect issues that can not be seen with the normal eye. Make sure you hire an inspection company that deploy state of the art tools and equipements.
8. I can make money from the problems I find.
There’s always the potential for conflicts of interest in a business where one hand washes the other. Many home inspectors either used to be general contractors, or still do such work on the side. And it isn’t unheard of for an inspector to steer a home buyer to a pal’s firm, or even to the inspector’s own contracting business, to repair the very same flaws the inspection turned up.
Be mindful as this is a common practice in the UAE. Choosing a property inspector that has no alliances with any repair or maintenance companies is prudent.
Defective components may create safety hazards as well as functional deficiencies to the garage door assembly. The following facts demonstrate the dangers posed by garage doors:
Inspectors should not attempt to fix any garage door defects they may encounter. They should call out defects in their reports and recommend that the door be examined by a trained garage door technician. The following components should be present during inspections and devoid of defects:
2. easily distinguishable from rest of the garage opener system; and
3. no more than 6 feet above the standing surface.
2. cracking and dents. Aluminum doors are especially vulnerable to denting; and
3. separation of materials.
2. a general warning label, attached to the back of the door panel;
3. a warning label attached to the wall in the vicinity of the wall control button, and;
4. a tension warning label, attached to garage door’s bottom bracket.
Note: Inspectors should not operate the door until they have inspected the track mounts and bracing. Doors have been known to fall on people and cars when they were operated with tracks that were not securely attached and supported.
In addition, the button must:
1. be mounted in clear view of the garage door; and
2. be mounted away from moving parts.
Important note: InterNACHI inspectors should always make sure to disable the manual lock on the garage door before activating the switch.
Methods for testing the automatic reverse system:
1. This safety feature can be tested by grasping the base of the garage door as it closes and applying upward resistance. Inspectors should use caution while performing this test because they may accidentally damage its components if the door does not reverse course.
2. Some sources recommend placing a 2x4 piece of wood on the ground beneath the door, although there have been instances where this testing method has damaged the door or door opener components.
3. supplemental automatic reverse system. Garage doors manufactured in the U.S. after 1992 must be equipped with photoelectric sensors or a door
Safety Advice for Clients:
In summary, garage doors and their openers can be hazardous if certain components are missing or defective. Inspectors should understand these dangers and be prepared to offer useful safety tips to their clients.
Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter, such as fallen leaves and dead trees. But indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.
Can mold cause health problems?
Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing. Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants and, in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold. Research on mold and health effects is ongoing. This article provides a brief overview; it does not describe all potential health effects related to mold exposure. For more detailed information, consult a health professional. You may also wish to consult your state or local health department.
How do I get rid of mold?
It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors. Some mold spores will be found floating through the air and in house dust. Mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present. Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors. If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. If you clean up the mold but don't fix the water problem, then, most likely, the mold problem will recur.
Who should do the cleanup?
This depends on a number of factors. One consideration is the size of the mold problem. If the moldy area is less than about 10 square feet (less than roughly a 3-foot by 3-foot patch), in most cases, you can handle the job yourself, following the guidelines below.
Tips and Techniques
The tips and techniques presented in this section will help you clean up your mold problem. Professional cleaners or remediators may use methods not covered here. Please note that mold may cause staining and cosmetic damage. It may not be possible to clean an item so that its original appearance is restored.
What to Wear When Cleaning Moldy Areas:
How do I know when the remediation or cleanup is finished?
You must have completely fixed the water or moisture problem before the cleanup or remediation can be considered finished, based on the following guidelines:
Moisture and Mold Prevention and Control Tips
Actions that will help to reduce humidity:
Actions that will help prevent condensation:
Testing or Sampling for Mold
Is sampling for mold needed? In most cases, if visible mold growth is present, sampling is unnecessary. Since no EPA or other federal limits have been set for mold or mold spores, sampling cannot be used to check a building's compliance with federal mold standards. Surface sampling may be useful to determine if an area has been adequately cleaned or remediated. Sampling for mold should be conducted by professionals who have specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods, and interpreting results. Sample analysis should follow analytical methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or other professional organizations.
Suspicion of Hidden Mold
You may suspect hidden mold if a building smells moldy but you cannot see the source, or if you know there has been water damage and residents are reporting health problems. Mold may be hidden in places such as the backside of dry wall, wallpaper or paneling, the top-side of ceiling tiles, or the underside of carpets and pads, etc. Other possible locations of hidden mold include areas inside walls around pipes (with leaking or condensing pipes), the surface of walls behind furniture (where condensation forms), inside ductwork, and in roof materials above ceiling tiles (due to roof leaks or insufficient insulation).
Investigating Hidden Mold Problems
Investigating hidden mold problems may be difficult and will require caution when the investigation involves disturbing potential sites of mold growth. For example, removal of wallpaper can lead to a massive release of spores if there is mold growing on the underside of the paper. If you believe that you may have a hidden mold problem, consider hiring an experienced professional.
Cleanup and Biocides
Biocides are substances that can destroy living organisms. The use of a chemical or biocide that kills organisms such as mold (chlorine bleach, for example) is not recommended as a routine practice during mold cleanup. There may be instances, however, when professional judgment may indicate its use (for example, when immune-compromised individuals are present). In most cases, it is not possible or desirable to sterilize an area; a background level of mold spores will remain, and these spores will not grow if the moisture problem has been resolved. If you choose to use disinfectants or biocides, always ventilate the area and exhaust the air to the outdoors. Never mix chlorine bleach with other cleaning solutions or detergents that contain ammonia because toxic fumes could be produced.
Please note: Dead mold may still cause allergic reactions in some people, so it is not enough to simply kill the mold; it must also be removed.
Ten Things You Should Know About Mold
1. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposure include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints.
2. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
3. If mold is a problem in your home, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
4. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
5. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30% to 60%) to decrease mold growth by:
a. venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside;
b. using air conditioners and de-humidifiers;
c. increasing ventilation; and
d. using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning.
6. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold growth.
7. Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials that are moldy (such as carpeting and ceiling tiles) may need to be replaced.
8. Prevent condensation. Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof and floors) by adding insulation.
9. In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting.
10. Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, provided moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.
An important part of the process is the home inspection where a professional makes sure everything in the house is functioning properly and identifies needed repairs. Here are a few reasons why you don’t want to skip over this step.
The home-buying process is long and arduous. You often spend months searching for the right home before you make an offer and once an offer is made and accepted, you must jump through several more hoops before the sale closes. An important part of the process is the home inspection where a professional makes sure everything in the house is functioning properly and identifies needed repairs.
The buyer pays the cost of a home inspection but can always wave the right to an inspection. That’s not a good idea. You should make a home inspection a mandatory part of the home-buying process. “You need unbiased documentation of the home’s condition,” said April Leslie, a radon measurement and home inspection specialist at Award Home Inspections in Richmond, Virginia. This goes for both
the purchase of a pre-owned home as well as new construction.
Unseen and Unpredicted Problems
You can fall in love with a home for various reasons. You might love the size of the home, the open floor plan, the home’s exterior or the layout of the kitchen. While the home may look to be in excellent shape, the home’s aesthetics can hide real problems.
You need an inspector to climb into the attic and inch around in the crawl space. The inspector can discover real and expensive problems that are not always apparent when you view the home with a real estate agent.
“The home might not look good on top and underneath,” Leslie said. “It’s much more than the red door curb appeal. A great home is more interior decorating and a good paint job. It’s about what’s in your walls and not what’s on them.”
When you and the seller reach an agreement on the home, you are under some legal obligation to finalize the sale. A home inspection gives you ways to get out of the deal. Once the home inspector completes a report, you can renegotiate with the seller. You might want to have certain items repaired, or you could seek to have the cost of the home reduced. If an agreement is not reached on the items in the report, you can back out of the deal. A recent survey by the National Association of Realtors found that 14% of sales are never finalized due to the home inspection, the third largest reason.
“It’s going to educate you about one of your greatest purchases,” Leslie said. “You are also learning very practical information about the home like where the main water shutoff valve is located and where the main fuel shutoff is.”
Cost is not an inhibiting factor for a home inspection. An inspection on a condominium can be as little as $300 while the cost of a single-family home inspection ranges from $350 to $500. Specialized radon and HVAC inspections add a little bit more to the cost. In the end, the money is worth the investment. A quality home inspection can keep you from having to pay tens of thousands of dollars in repairs costs. “You will always benefit more than the cost of your home inspection,” April said.
The home inspector will look at the foundation and other structural elements of the house. If the house is not structurally sound, the inspection report will identify the problems. Structural problems are major red flags when buying a house. You don’t want to get stuck with a home that is not well built.
A new roof can cost $10,000 or more to replace and is one of the more expensive maintenance costs of owning a home. The inspector will look at the roof and identify the roof’s age in order to decide whether it is in proper working order. The report will point out any problems with the roof.
An important part of the home inspection is to make sure the home is safe. The inspector will look at the electrical system and make sure it is in proper working order. You don’t want to live in a home with an unsafe electrical system. If you choose to get a radon test, you will understand if the radon levels in the house are at safe levels. Radon is an odorless gas that can cause lung disease.
A home requires ongoing maintenance. Things wear out and break. When putting together a budget for buying a home, you need to include maintenance costs. The amount of money that you budget will depend on the home’s condition. A newer home is less likely to need maintenance than an older home. “Most inspection reports include the cost of deferred maintenance,” Leslie said. “These are things that will have pending replacements in the next five years.”
You have a huge amount of leverage with an inspection report. You can ask the seller to fix the problems in the report, renegotiate the asking price or ask the seller to contribute more to the closing costs. You are in the driver’s seat if the inspection report shows major problems with the house.
Peace of Mind
An inspection report guarantees that you understand the condition of the home when the sale finalizes which can ultimately bring you peace of mind. All in all, you don’t want any major surprises shortly after moving into your new home.
“Peace of mind can’t be overrated,” Leslie said. “You have actual physical documentation that informs you of the condition of the home. This is true even on new construction. For example, the air ducts could not be placed correctly.”
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