Buying and selling real estate over the years has provided me with some insiders tips on things that work and things that don’t work in the real estate market. Each transaction has left me with invaluable wisdom that comes into play during the next sale or purchase, enabling me to garner a better deal on property or at least a property that I will be satisfied with once the ink has dried on the deed.
Consider Commute Time
Always consider your daily commute when purchasing real estate. Many people tend to gloss over how many miles they will be traveling each day to and from work or school when they fall in love with a home. Bear in mind that a long commute grows tiring and expensive as the days go by, dimming the attraction of the dream home at the end of the time-consuming commute.
Look at the Windows
Home buyers look out the windows, but rarely look at the windows. Have a look-see at the windows to see if they are double-pane (to save you money on heating and cooling costs), broken or loose and ask how old they are. Old windows drain the pocketbook in more ways that one.
Sell in the Spring
Many people in the market to buy a home want to buy in the late spring or summer so they can make the move and get settled in before the fall school term begins. Get your home on the market during the time when most potential home buyers are actively looking – in the spring. House-hunt in the spring and summer, but hold off on the purchase until fall or winter when you find a home you want. You’ll have better negotiating power during fall and winter when real estate tends to move more slowly.
A good flip can typically be found in the winter. People who sell their homes in the cold of winter are usually not doing so by choice and the price may be significantly reduced in order for the home to sell quickly.
If you must sell your home during the winter and the landscape is hidden under snow and the trees are barren, use photos from the summer to help sell your home. Show what it looks like during the peak growing season to garner more interest and better offers.
Morning, Noon and Night
Before buying a home, look at in the morning, noon and again at night. Check for traffic during peak driving hours and lighting in the home and in the neighborhood after dark.