Breaking Down the Zestimate

When it comes to purchasing a new home, or selling the one in which you currently reside, the initial process can be confusing and overwhelming until you get the assistance of a good real estate professional.  So, it stands to reason that when beginning the process, buyers and sellers might do some preliminary research using a third-party site like Zillow.

Zillow is known for price estimates, both for buyers and renters, as well as providing limited community information for those who have never visited the neighborhood. On the outside, it seems like a handy resource when dipping a toe into the waters of real estate.  However, the property information and price estimates are often inaccurate, which can create major issues for buyers and sellers.  In other words, if you decide to use these big third-party websites, proceed with caution or forgo them altogether and get accurate data from a trusted, local real estate website and resource.

When you need assistance in your pursuit of the perfect home, there are several reasons to turn to an established agency with local knowledge and experienced real estate agents on its side. Otherwise, you may find yourself relying on the Zestimate, a computer-generated estimate that is not always the best measure of a home’s value.  Zillow knows this, and discloses this in small print on their site.

How is the Zestimate made?

As Zillow states, the Zestimate is meant only as an expression of the estimated market value, not an actual appraisal. The site is actually a computer program that automatically generates its report based on what is available to anyone: data and statistics that can be accessed with relative ease by the general public. As such, the program doesn’t take into account the additions you or its previous owner might have added while in residence. This can affect the Zestimate, putting the home at a lower or higher value depending on the extent of repairs or damage.

In Southeastern NC, we’ve seen Zestimates on some properties be off by as much as 45%.  For illustration purposes, evan a 15% margin of error on a $400,000 home results in a difference of $60,000 in value!  Further, the same algorithm to estimate the value of a home in a Detroit suburb is used to estimate the value of a home on the water in our region.  That’s pretty telling, isn’t it?

Even more telling is this article, which features information about the home of Zillow’s founder and CEO.  The day before his home sold for $1.05 million, the Zestimate for his property showed $1.75 million.  Need we say more?

How can your agency help clear the air?

When it comes time to sell or buy a home, don’t always trust that the Zestimate has given your house enough credit for what it’s worth.  Instead, broach the subject with a trusted real estate agent.  He or she can walk you through the criteria in further detail, help you get a professional appraisal and, for sellers, pull a list of comparable properties that have recently sold.  And while Zillow does have access to area information to prep you and your family for relocation, a local real estate agent has the insider knowledge that can never be replaced by statistics alone.

When it comes to your home, whether you’re buying or selling one, it’s important to have all the information available to you. With the help of well-established agencies like Intracoastal Realty, you can be sure you’ll have all you need to get settled. Contact us today to help you with the process!


House Flipping Tips and Tricks

You’ve heard the success story: a worn-down eyesore, an optimistic buyer, and a quick transformation followed by an even faster sale. Flipping houses can be a lucrative occupation, but it certainly isn’t an easy feat. If you’re interested in trying your hand in the market, you’ll want to keep a few insider tips in mind.

Don’t go it alone

From buying, to the renovations, and then to the actual sale of your project, it helps to have some experienced professionals on your side to help streamline the process. And if you’ve never tried to flip a house before, it’s even more important to have a helping hand or two at your disposal. Build your team by talking to real estate agents, contractors, and other seasoned homeowners you can trust to point you in the right direction.

Shop wisely

While it’s always incredible to watch a run-down property be remodeled into a functioning home again, be sure that you can put your money where your mouth is and that you don’t purchase too ambitiously. Before buying a house to flip, make a sound budget that you can easily stick to throughout the renovations. That way, you’ll know from the beginning how much you have to allot to the purchase itself and any costs incurred afterward.

Check your expectations

When the remodeling is done and you put the newly-decorated home back on the market, remember that the idea is to engage in a quick sale, not haggle over every nickel and dime. The success of house flipping lies in the ability to close each deal efficiently. As such, you probably won’t make very much off the first few sales. Don’t get discouraged! If you find that flipping houses is something you enjoy, keep a record of your successes and setbacks so that each time there are fewer surprises and more to gain!

Timing is everything

The housing market is in constant flux, so above all else, remember to be patient and time your purchases and sales accordingly! At this stage, an experienced real estate agent is your best bet in learning the ropes and optimal times for buying and selling property in your area. Flipping a house is only possible when the conditions are right for buyers, so you’ll need to catch those waves as they come.

If you’re ready to buy or sell a home, contact Intracoastal Realty and get connected with some of the most knowledgeable agents in the coastal North Carolina area!

 

 

 


What to Expect from Your First Home Inspection

You’re putting a house on the market for the first time, and your to-do list is probably about a mile long. One of the most important items – and a step that needs to happen sooner rather than later – is scheduling a professional inspection of your home.

Just like during the process of purchasing your next home, it’s important to know as much as possible regarding the condition of the house before you put it on the market. With a quality inspection, you can get all of the knowledge you need to work with potential buyers and settle on a fair deal for everyone.

Timing and involvement 

When you schedule a home inspection, you’ll want to go ahead and account for roughly 2-3 hours of walk-through time. It’s recommended that you stay nearby to answer any questions that might come up, and the best inspectors don’t mind if you follow along and ask some of your own as they arise. As the inspection progresses, he or she will be making enough notes to answer some preliminary questions about possible repairs and alterations, but remember that the more detailed report will be delivered soon – sometimes by the end of the business day depending on the time of your appointment. 

The report

The typical inspection report will give you a rundown of what about your house is up to current standards and what potential issues the inspector caught. The amount of detail really depends on the condition of the house; if, for example, it’s practically brand new, you probably won’t have as many damages and weakened areas to address. Older houses, those that have been through rougher weather, or the residences that were not cared for in years previous typically have more notes and ideas for improvement included in the report. The results tend to be broken down by sections of the house, such as the basement, attic, roof, crawlspace, the plumbing work, and the ventilation system. 

Next steps

As the seller, you don’t technically have to make any of the repairs suggested in the inspector’s report. However, the chances of your house selling for a desired price are higher if you do. Essentially, it all boils down to the severity of the renovations and what price range you’re hoping for with your buyer. Sometimes, your realtor can negotiate with the buyer not to include the repairs, but to drop down the asking price instead. If you’re unwilling to fix the problems before you vacate the house, this is an option to bring up with your agent from the beginning.

Putting your house on the market for the first time can be daunting, but when you have a trustworthy real estate agent on your side, the workload decreases exponentially! If you’re ready to sell your coastal home, contact us and get started today.


A Guide for First-time Home Sellers

When you don’t know what to expect, selling your first home can quickly evolve into a convoluted and frustrating process, even with a knowledgeable realtor on your side. The experts here at Intracoastal Realty have come up with a few helpful hints to walk you through the process, so you can confidently move forward with the sale.

Meet with a trusted real estate agent.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but this first step to selling your home is the most important one. When you find and meet with a capable real estate agent, he or she will be able to assess your home and neighborhood, help you establish your needs and some realistic goals for the sale, and navigate the showing and closure process. You’ll probably also do a walk-through of the house to familiarize the agent with its physical attributes, as well as find a few tweaks to make in order to show off the place in the best possible light.

Set expectations, but remember to be flexible.

Just like you have items that are non-negotiable, so does each potential buyer that crosses the threshold of your home. When the residence is ready to be shown, discuss with your real estate agent potential compromising points, and outline very clearly what you absolutely cannot bend on before you assess the first offer.

Keep track.

In the lucky event that you receive multiple offers on your house, it would benefit you to have some sort of filing system so as not to confuse one buyer from another. This is also a handy way to compare and contrast offers with your real estate agent, so that when you’re ready to make the final call, you can easily glance at the profiles and pull out the pros and cons of each.

A clean home is a happy one.

Even after the initial showings have occurred, and after you have an offer or two for consideration, keep your house up to showcase standards. The nature of selling a home involves plenty of risk; your buyer’s credit may not be up to par with their chosen lender, he or she may suddenly back out of the deal, or your reason for moving may throw a wrench in the plans. To hopefully put off any unforeseen complications in obtaining another buyer – or keeping the one you have – maintain a tidy household to the very last day of your residence.

Plan accordingly.

As was already mentioned, there are countless ways that the eventual sale of your home could deviate from your carefully laid plan. But, with a skilled real estate agent on your side, you can be sure to include a few fallbacks and contingency courses of action in your general outline. It will also be helpful to plan out any major changes you want to make to improve your home’s appearance such as fresh paint, more intensive lawn work, or furniture rearrangement prior to opening your home to buyers.

Be prepared to offer extra features.  

It’s easy to claim that there are things you could do without in your current house: appliances, curtains, and other interior decorations to name a few. But when someone makes an offer that includes something you might have planned on taking with you after the sale, it’s time to make a decision regarding what you will and won’t miss. Just remember that at this point, it’s about being reasonable and rational, not necessarily emotionally invested. If someone requests the inclusion of appliances, consider the benefits and costs before refusing. By conceding a little, you might just gain a lot in the sale.

The main thing to keep in mind when you’re ready for a move and need to sell your house is that in spite of the stress that often comes with the process, it’s still an exciting change for you and yours to experience! By putting yourself in the hands of a capable and trusted real estate agent, you’ll also take some of the pressure off and gain a valuable resource to see you through the sale. If you’re ready to sell your house on North Carolina’s coast, contact us today!


Setting the Stage

When trying to sell your home, you want to make sure its best features are on display without going over-the-top or downplaying anything that could sway a potential buyer. Obviously, the exterior of a house is easier to show off in spring or summer, when the sun is out and your grass is a pleasant shade of green. But even when winter is still keeping the plant life to a minimum, the experts here at Intracoastal Realty have a few ideas to combat any lingering winter chill.

Keep everything accessible

There’s a reason the term is “spring cleaning.” But, in order to put your house’s best foot forward and get it sold, you might have to bust out the gardening gloves a little earlier than planned. The very first impression you can give is of your home’s exterior, so make it a memorable one – and in a good way, too. Clear the walkways, establish comfortable paths between shrubs and other plant life that will be returning in the spring, and in the case of snow or ice, be sure to shovel the sidewalk and steps when a potential buyer is coming over.

Timing is everything

Some homeowners like to spruce up the outdoors with some decorative lighting, even before and after the major holiday season. You can use this to your advantage if you’re trying to sell your house when the branches are more than likely bare. Strands of twinkling lights and strategically placed adornments can fill up the empty space left once the leaves fall, and go a long way in making your home look and feel warm and comforting, even when the temperatures outside say otherwise.   

Play to your strengths

Let’s face it: every house has its flaws. The advantage to selling yours in wintertime, though, is that if it’s a matter of a small yard or otherwise awkward terrain, you can go ahead and address these drawbacks openly with potential buyers while still having plenty of room without encroaching foliage to point out the positives. Take a walk around the property with your real estate agent and take stock of the pros and cons, then discuss the best ways to present them to those that come for a viewing of the house. With the right agent, any interested parties will promptly get both sides of the story, without you truly risking the sale in favor of disclosure.

No matter the time of year, putting a house on the market is always going to be a challenge. With experienced agents like those at Intracoastal Realty, you can be sure that you have someone to walk you through every step of the process. Contact us today to get started!


Professional Home Staging Can Lead to a Quicker Sale, and More Money

By Judy Royal

All the world’s a stage, including your home. If you’re planning to sell a property in the Wilmington NC real estate market, you’ll want to make it as appealing as possible to the masses with an eye-catching first impression. Cleaning and fixing that doorknob that’s been broken for years aren’t the only things you can do to get ready. Home staging is the process of preparing your residence for the marketplace with the goal of making it attractive to the highest number of potential buyers through the use of the following components: artwork, painting, furniture, accessories, lighting, greenery, and carpet. Experts agree that a professionally staged home is likely to spend less time on the market and net a higher sales price.

“The first thing it does is it gives the buyer a vision and a lifestyle of how they can live in the home,” said Lyn Manning, interior decorator and staging specialist who works with many Intracoastal Realty clients. “It just sets up a whole visual appeal. When we go in model homes we typically like the model home, and part of that is because it’s all set up to visually appeal to and emotionally grab the buyer. It shows them that lifestyle that they can have in that home and helps them decide how they can set the furniture up.”

This is especially important in homes that have floor plans with irregularities, Manning said. Professional staging can smooth those out by adding visual items that might be similar to what the new owner would incorporate. “It kind of takes away that guessing game for a buyer who has seen that raw, open space,” she added.

Staging isn’t just for empty homes, though. Many potential sellers will need to continue living in their residences while they are on the market and open to buyer showings. While Manning can provide all the furniture and decor to stage an empty property, in a lived-in space she works with what’s already there. “The challenge is to show the homeowner that less is more and get them to understand that thinning out is really necessary,” she said. “I really need to use what they have, maybe adding a few inexpensive elements to dress up what they have, and that’s a key part of this. My job is not to critique or criticize how they have lived in the home or their choice of decor.”

The home staging concept was born in 1972 when Barb Schwarz left the interior design business and went into residential real estate in Bellevue, Washington. With a background in theater, she began to suggest to sellers that they set the scene for potential buyers. In 1985, Schwarz began touring the country to teach agents and decorators about home staging and how it can be an advantage when selling a house, and in 1999 she founded the International Association of Home Staging Professionals® (IAHSP®).

About 49 percent of Realtors® who work with buyers believe staging usually has an effect on the buyer’s view of the home, and another 47 percent believe staging sometimes has an impact on a buyer’s view of the home, according to the National Association of Realtors® 2015 Profile of Home Staging. The report, the first of its kind from NAR, also found that Realtors® on the buyer side believe staging makes an impact in several ways: 81 percent said staging helps buyers visualize the property as a future home, while 46 percent said it makes prospective buyers more willing to walk through a home they saw online.

Realtors® believe that buyers most often offer a 1-5 percent increase on the value of a staged home (37 percent from Realtors® representing sellers and 32 percent from Realtors® representing buyers). Additionally, 22 percent of Realtors® representing sellers and 16 percent of Realtors® representing buyers said the increase is closer to 6-10 percent.

For an empty home, Wilmington sellers can expect to pay an average of $1,595-$1,895 for home staging, depending on how many rooms need the service, and there is also a small fee for each month the staging specialist’s items remain on the property, Manning said. The cost for a detailed consultation that uses the homeowners’ existing belongings is $125-$155, she added.

So how do you get started when you have years or maybe even decades of accumulated goods in your dwelling space? Matthew Finlason, the host of HGTV’s television series “The Stagers,” offers these 10 rules for staging homes, according to an article on HGTV’s website:

  • Grab them from the curb: Add potted plants and flowers, pressure wash patios and walkways, weed the garden, and mow the lawn.
  • Make it sparkle: Mop, dust, vacuum, wash windows, and clean baseboards, inside cupboards, under sinks, and in closets. Also, be mindful of any odors.
  • Pay attention to color and light: Neutralize strong colors for the broadest appeal, and open up blinds and draperies to ensure sufficient natural light.
  • Depersonalize: Remove excessive personal items, such as photos, collections, personal awards, and electronics.
  • Consider replacing furnishings: Think about removing or replacing worn or outdated furnishings, and get rid of extra pieces.
  • Invest in new artwork: Breathe new life into your home with paintings and photography, which can be used to contemporize a room and add a splash of color.
  • Make repairs: Repair squeaky doors, chipped or smudged paint, and broken fixtures and fittings that you’ve neglected.
  • Apply a fresh coat of paint: Refresh a dull, dated room by brushing on some neutral color.
  • Don’t forget the floors: Get rid of worn carpets, and consider refinishing shabby hardwood floors. An inexpensive new area rug may also be a quick fix.
  • Spring for new light fixtures: Renew the look of the room by replacing old or dated light fixtures, door hardware, light switches, and outlets.

While these tips are a good start for any seller, they cannot replace the aesthetic details a professional can impart for a perfect look that can help you grab top dollar for your property.

Whether you’re in the market to buy or sell, Intracoastal Realty is here to meet your Wilmington NC real estate needs. We are a full-service real estate brokerage operating since 1976, and we currently have 12 offices with over 400 agents and staff to serve Southeastern North Carolina, including the areas of Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Southport, Oak Island, Ocean Isle Beach, Leland, Hampstead, and Topsail Island.


Home Renovations That Can Hurt (and Help) Your Property Value

Home Improvement House Meaning Renovate Or RestoreThe real estate market is on fire! When we have a market like this, it may be the right time to prepare your property for sale. If you’re considering substantial changes, they could affect the property’s overall market value. Here are four remodels to avoid and four to consider before listing your home.

Posted on Feb 23 2017 – 10:57am by Housecall / Brooke Nally

Remodels to Avoid:

Luxury Rooms

An indoor basketball court, wine cellar, sauna, or even a movie theater won’t often recoup the high building costs. Luxury add-on rooms are hard to pitch to buyers unless you’re living in an upscale housing market—the average homebuyer won’t be willing to pay for them. Further, rooms that depend heavily on wired electronics, like home theaters, are hard to keep current because TVs and speakers are constantly advancing.

Swimming Pool

The average cost to build a pool is $39,084, a hefty price tag that is seldom recovered once the home is sold. It’s widely accepted throughout the industry that a homeowner will lose money by adding a swimming pool. Homebuyers don’t want to deal with the maintenance cost of a pool (which can cost as much as $2,000 a year), the added insurance premiums, and—if they have young kids—the safety issues.

Gaudy Accents

Though gold-plated crown molding or mosaic-tile backsplashes may feature prominently in your ideal vision for your home, they often turn out to be the average homebuyer’s worst nightmare. Passing fads or niche trends rarely stick around long, so if you miss the brief window when your remodeling choices are in, you’ll end up paying for it later.

Changes Contrary to Area Standards

If you aren’t watching the trends common to your area, you could end up losing a lot of money. A home that totals $600,000 after all the renovations won’t sell in a neighborhood where homes are netting half that price. Likewise, knocking down the walls of extra bedrooms for an open layout won’t be appealing in a family-oriented neighborhood.

Remodels that Pay:

Steel Doors

You don’t want to go cheap on a standard front door. At roughly $1,000, steel doors are comparatively affordable, durable, low maintenance and burglar resistant. As an added bonus, the National Association of Realtors® reports that steel door upgrades show the highest return on investment of any home remodel, at over 100 percent of the cost.

Solar Panels

As the price of solar panels continues to drop, the energy payback on installing them is becoming greater and greater. The average rooftop solar system is now paid off in seven and a half years. After that, panels are a big money-saving asset. A study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory notes that homebuyers “consistently have been willing to pay more for a property” with solar panels—a premium of around $4 per installed watt, on average.

Related: Will Your Homeowners Insurance Cover Solar Panels?

New Siding

The exterior of your house is the first thing potential homebuyers see when they come to your home, and you want to make the best first impression. This is part of the reason redoing your siding is so profitable. New siding recoups around 80 percent of the initial cost, according to the National Association of Realtors®, thanks largely to the increased curb appeal and improved energy efficiency it provides.

Broadband Access

Access to broadband speeds is considered an essential utility for today’s connected homebuyer. Research shows that faster internet speeds increase your home value by as much as 3 percent. Homeowners can prepare their homes for higher broadband connectivity by working with area providers to install requisite equipment and wiring. Building out wall ports and cable-hiding baseboards is a good move to attract buyers, too.

Even if you’re not considering selling your home just yet, keep potential selling benefits in mind. Intrepid homeowners know that the best remodels will increase both quality of life and listing price, so take care to invest in projects that will net the biggest returns.


7 Foolproof Signs It’s Time to Sell

Sometimes the answer is staring you right in the face. It might be time to sell if you just got a new job on the other side of the country, or if you know it’s only a matter of time before your family outgrows the one-story, two-bedroom house you’re living in. Other times though, it can be hard to find that catalyst that really drives you to list your home. If you’re mulling over the possibility of selling your house, but can’t nail down a specific reason, check out these signs to sell.

1. You need to size up (or size down).

Whether your family is building up or emptying out, one of the first reasons that might help you decide whether it’s time to move is: space. Do you need more of it or less of it? On the one hand, if you need some extra breathing room, it’s possible that you could always finish a spare room, garage, basement or attic, or just build off of what you have, but you need to make sure that it will eventually pay off. If you’d be pushing the value of your house way out of the market compared with your neighbors, then you’d be better off just moving on up into a different neighborhood. Plus, you might run into some barriers if you decide to throw up some extra walls in the form of building or neighborhood regulations.

And, if you have too much space, well, then, you just have too much space. Save yourself the hassle of maintaining and paying for a home that’s too big for you, and maybe opt for a little bungalow in an especially desired area that you’ve always wanted to live in.

2. You need a change of scenery.

Neighborhoods change, for better or for worse. Maybe there’s a been more development than you would’ve like nearby or you’re tired of dealing with your HOA or you just want some extra yards of space between you and your neighbor’s windows. If you aren’t crazy about your neighborhood or the surrounding area anymore, it’s time to start seriously considering a move, especially if you’re worried about the effect it will have on the value of your home. That’s not really a matter of opinion either. If you’re wondering about how the value of your house is holding up, you can check with a Realtor® or local agent to get the facts. If your value’s going to dip, it’s also time for you to dip.

3. There’s no point in remodeling.

This is similar to deciding whether or not you should expand. If you’re just wanting to upgrade your home in general with some renovations, instead of upgrading the size, it’s not a bad idea to touch base with a Realtor® or local agent first. They can run comps on the neighborhood to see if renovations would price you out of the neighborhood. It doesn’t really matter if you’ve got the nicest house on the block if your neighborhood doesn’t support the higher price tag you’re liable to have for buyers. If you’ve got major renovations in mind, you want to make sure you get some return on your investment. If not, it’s time to start looking for a house that maybe has those features already built in.

4. You can afford to sell your house (and move).

This sounds a bit like an oxymoron, but it costs money to sell a house. If you’ve got any repairs, painting or carpet-replacing to do, you’re going to have to do that before you even put your house on the market. Now, you could try to factor in the fact that certain repairs need to be done with strategizing your asking price and “cushion” for them there, but, keep in mind, you’re going to automatically be pushing a certain percentage of buyers away. There are many buyers out there who really don’t want to have to run through a whole laundry list of things they need to take care of right after moving and, perhaps more importantly, they still may end up asking you to foot the bill come inspection time. If your inspection yields a list of necessary repairs, you’re probably going to end up paying by either dropping your asking price even further or paying for them yourself. Not to mention, you also need to be able to actually afford the move, which, depending on how far you’ve got to go and how much stuff you have, can become pretty expensive in and of itself.

5. You’ve got the equity you need for a profit.

This is extremely important. If you don’t have the equity to back your selling your house, be prepared to take a loss. To quickly calculate your equity, you need to know how much you still owe on your mortgage and the value of your home. If the value of your home is greater than how much you owe on your mortgage, you’re in good shape. The bigger the number, the greater your resulting profit will be. (Don’t forget: It needs to be enough to cover the cost of buying your new home!) If that number is tiny or even in the negative, then you’re not really in a great position to sell and should seriously consider sitting out this season until the market improves, the value of your home improves or you owe less on your home.

6. The markets are stacked in your favor.

This is kind of tricky. Ordinarily, you’d be looking for a seller’s market, so a high demand for homes with a smaller inventory actually available. You’re likely to get the best price for you home. However, you’re also likely to be an active buyer too, so if you sell in a seller’s market, you might end up buying in a seller’s market too. It really just depends on what the market looks like where you selling and where you’re buying. On the other hand, if you sell in a buyer’s market, you’ll be buying in a buyer’s market, so it all kind of equals out in the end. However, knowing the health of the market beforehand helps to determine what your asking price should be, which sets you up for future negotiations and offers, which eventually determines how much you’re going to your new home with, so, it’s still important to know.

7. You’re ready to move on.

Let’s not forget: moving out of your home, especially one that you may have raised your children in or was the first home you and your partner bought together, can be emotional. Are you ready to actually let go? In plenty of instances, there are assuredly homeowners muttering “good riddance” under their breath. But there are lots of others who might need a little more time to linger. Bottom line: don’t rush. Especially, if you’re getting ready to leave a home you love. However, if you know that moving could become imminent in the near future, it might be time to start heeding the advice above and preparing yourself for that first, big step.

If you need help getting ready to take that first step, you can find it here. Just drop us a line at info@intracoastalrealty.com or call us at 1-800-533-1840, and we can make sure you have an amazing agent at your side.


5 Things That Pull Down the Value of Your Home (That You Can Fix!)

If you’re trying to prepare your home to sell, then you probably already know that maximizing your home’s value is really the best way for you to get the most out of your home, monetarily speaking. While there’s not always a whole lot you can do about the the highway they laid down behind your neighborhood a few years ago or the power lines that seem to have accumulated since you first moved in, there are still things that you can do to preserve your home’s value, if not increase it.

1. Swimming Pools & Elaborate Landscaping

There are several factors that determine whether or not having a swimming pool will actually be a good or bad investment in terms of the value of your home. If you’re in a locale that supports having a swimming pool with sweltering, long summers — like we are! — then a pool in and of itself isn’t a bad idea. However, if your pool isn’t well maintained or if it bogarts all the space in your backyard, it might end up hurting more than helping. Keep in mind too that, for any potential buyers will small children or dogs, a pool might be a big negative for safety reasons. Does your pool have a safety fence or cover? If you’re going to have a pool, it’s important that it’s safe and clean. Buyers might also be turned off by the idea of having to care for a pool, as the maintenance is normally quite costly and labor intensive.

There’s a similar mentality for landscaping when it comes to maintenance. A highly customized and unique yard, laden with hard-to-care-for plants or requiring constant trimming to manage its aesthetics might actually act a deterrent for buyers, as opposed to an attraction. When tending to your yard, keep in mind that most buyers will probably care more about whether or not your yard has a healthy lawn (which is a prized asset here on the coast) than anything else, as well as the health of trees close to the house that could cause damage if they drop a heavy branch.

2. Poor Maintenance

Think of regular maintenance on your home as a requirement, because it essentially is if you want to protect the value of your home over time. When it comes time for your potential buyer to have their home inspection done on your home, all the little things that you’ve put off will add up, if they didn’t snowball into a couple of big problems, which will wind up costing you a lot more when you’re scrambling to close the sale on your house than they would have if you had just taken care of them when you actually had the time to research contractors and find the best rates. Poor maintenance can be a major contributor to decreased value of your home. Keep up with your home’s maintenance from the get-go with these helpful tips!

3. Overly Customized Kitchen/Bathroom Remodels

Upgraded kitchens and bathrooms can be a healthy boost to your home’s value, but not if they’re over the top or extremely personalized to your very specific taste. As we covered before with the swimming pools and landscaping, not all upgrades are instantly beneficial to your home’s value. You want to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible, and ornate faucets, “statement” sinks and professional-grade kitchen appliances might prove an obstacle to that. On the other hand, new appliances in the kitchen won’t improve your home’s value as much if the kitchen still has original linoleum floors, for instance, and your home doesn’t have a consistent feel to it.

4. Lackluster Curb Appeal

Just like having overly elaborate landscaping might act as a hindrance to buyers, so will a yard that looks barren and neglected. Admittedly, it can be fairly difficult to cultivate a lush, green lawn with the sandy soil and immense pine needles that we have to contend with, however, it’s not entirely impossible, and there are other ways to compensate for it. If you’re trying to raise your own luscious lawn, you’ll have to do a little research based on your soil type and the amount of sun/shade your lawn receives. Typically, in these parts, residents rely on several different strains of grass, typically bermuda, fescue or even ryegrass, among others.

If your yard is past the point of being salvageable, or, if you’re looking for a quick fix, potted plants are the way to go. You can also do your best to make sure that the actual exterior of your home is looking spiffy by renting or hiring pressure washing services to make sure that siding/shingles, fences, driveways and decks are clean and looking like new!

5. Bright Paint

Whether it’s on the interior or the exterior of your home, very bright and bold paint can be a turnoff for potential buyers. No matter how much you love your adventurous color palette, it can distract buyers from being able to actually picture themselves in your home, or the idea of having to repaint an entire house inside and out can deter buyers who are looking for a move-in ready home. Not sure where to start? Check out this neutral paints guide for ideas!

You can’t control everything when it comes to preserving or improving the value of your home, but there is still plenty that you can do! Need some help preparing your home to sell or looking for an agent? Give us a call at 1-800-533-1840 or email us at info@intracoastalrealty.com.


Selling Your Home, It’s a Business Decision

Blog Courtesy of Bobby Brandon, Broker/REALTOR® at Intracoastal Realty

Don’t Let Emotions Get in the Way!bobby-brandon-pp

When you purchased your home, you more than likely did so with lots of emotion, which is very normal. For example, you looked at homes with your real estate agent and narrowed it down to the two homes you like the best. Your kids probably ran through the house selecting which room would be theirs. You might have liked the backyard because that is where your family dog would get to play and be safe. You might have even like the kitchen space because it is large enough to have friends over and spend fun times together. Or this might have been the area of town that you had always wanted to live, etc.

These are all examples of emotions playing into the buying process. But now you are selling that same home. Once again, you are facing surfacing emotions. Hopefully, you have had a lot of great memories in the home you have spent so many years in and it might be a little hard for you to leave it. But a word of caution, when selling you should put your emotions to the side. It is now a business decision, and it all comes down to money.

Letting emotions get in the way is NOT a smart business decision. For example, you have negotiated with the buyer back and forth, and finally received the price you want. Now you and the buyer are fighting over the ten-year-old curtains in the home. You had it in your mind that you wanted to take the curtains with you, but this could be a deal breaker. As part of the negotiations, the buyer is asking for your grill, and you have your heels dug in NO. This minor conflict is the only thing that is stopping you from selling your home, obtaining the price you want and moving to the area in which you want to live. You could lose the entire deal over a $500 gas grill.

These are all examples of making an emotional decision verses a business decision. I have seen deals lost when emotions get in the way. I have seen deals go south over curtains and grills. Once the buyer has walked, the seller realizes what a bad decisions they have made and what it cost them in “winning the fight” (emotions). So remember, when selling, it’s all business!

For more information on buying and selling homes, go to www.BobbyBrandon.com. Bobby’s Team can provide expert advice and insight into current homes and land for sale in New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender County.

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