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Expert Tips for Home Buyers & Sellers

Our mission at Officer Real Estate Group is to be your best resource for real estate advice. Whether you are a buyer, seller, or investor, our team of professionals can answer any questions you might have about real estate. Subscribe to this blog to get the latest news on local market trends and receive expert tips for buying or selling a home.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Remodels to Avoid When Selling

When prospective buyers walk through a home, there are certain features they absolutely don’t want to see. But what are they?

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When it comes to impressing buyers with certain features in a home, there are a few things that they absolutely do not want to see. The following six items may be considered beneficial to the homeowner but not to buyers. Here are some projects and home features to avoid:

1. Wallpaper. We are seeing a lot of old wallpaper in homes with yesterday’s colors and designs. Buyers just see wallpaper as another expense that they have to maintain. Most will remove it because no one wants to paint over it.

2. Lavish lighting. Buyers don’t really care for fancy light fixtures. Large, ornate fixtures are also viewed as an expense because the buyer will have to get them removed and changed.

3. Textured walls. This used to be a hot trend, but that’s not longer the case. Most buyers want smooth walls and ceilings these days.

4. Mismatched flooring. Buyers like cohesiveness. A home that has carpet in one room, hardwood in another, and tile in a third is not cohesive. Buyers want the flooring in a home to be consistent and high-quality. They can spot cheap, laminate wood flooring a mile away.

5. Bad paint colors. For a while, buyers were into very rich colors like gold, green, and red. Those colors are not desirable anymore. Buyers want bright, airy, and neutral colors.

6. Hot tubs. Hot tubs are great for homeowners who have them, but no matter how nice the tub is, buyers usually don’t want to take on that expense themselves. They are expensive to get removed.
These are the home improvements to avoid.
These are just a few of the things that will turn buyers off about a home that is for sale. If you have any questions for us or if you’re looking to buy or sell a home, give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Can Open Houses Still Work?

Open houses, if done correctly, represent your best chance of getting top dollar for your home.

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Do open houses actually work or is it just something Realtors use to get more business?
The answer to both questions is yes. Open houses are mutually beneficial, but it’s more beneficial for you. However, they must be done correctly.

Most open houses I see are very small and unimpressive. There are usually only a couple signs outside and maybe a flat balloon laid out in the grass that nobody can see anymore. It’s no small wonder that when you show up to one of these open houses there’s nobody there.

The open houses that we do, on the other hand, are much larger. We facilitate a lot of social marketing and produce a lot of signage for each one. In most instances, we have as many as 20, 30, or even 40 people show up in a concentrated period of time. This allows us to get an immediate litmus test for how the market is reacting to your home and whether the opinion is that it’s underpriced, overpriced, too dirty, outdated, etc.
Open houses, when done right, generate legitimate interest.
We hear the negatives, but we also hear the positives, such as how many other people are there at the same time. We refer to this as social proof. If you’re a home buyer at an open house and you’re surrounded by a lot of other home buyers, that’s social proof that other people are interested in that house.

If done correctly, open houses represent the best chance of getting the highest price for your home. The concentration of people will result in any interested parties making an offer that’s going to be real, as opposed to lowballing you. We’ve been reaping the benefits of this effect a lot this year. In many open houses, we’ve gotten multiple offers on the very same day.

If you have any questions about open houses or are thinking about selling your home, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me by phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

When Is the Best Time to Sell Your Home in Jacksonville?

How do you time the market to get the most money from your home sale? Most people think you should list in the spring because there are more buyers on the market.

However, I want to challenge that line of thinking. Instead of planning your home sale based on the time of year, you should time the market based on the amount of inventory available. After all, real estate is all about supply and demand.

Right now, supply is super low in our area. If there are six to seven months of inventory available, that would be considered a balanced market. Anything under that is considered a seller’s market, while anything over seven months is considered a buyer’s market.
Now would be a great time to sell because supply is low in many price points.
With that in mind, I’m going to break down the supply by price point so you have an idea on how your home will stack up against the competition:

  • Under $150,000 - 2.5 months of inventory available
  • $200,000 to $300,000 -  2.9 months of inventory available
  • $300,000 to $500,000 - 5.6 months of inventory available
  • $500,000 to $1 million - 11 months of inventory available
  • Over $1 million - 24 months of inventory available

As you can see, any single-family homes priced under $500,000 are in a seller’s market. Homes below $300,000 are in extremely competitive seller’s markets. Once you cross that $500,000 mark, though, you are in a buyer’s market. This gives you a unique opportunity to sell your home for top dollar and move up into a higher price bracket. If you are moving up into a buyer’s market, you can get a great deal.

If you have any questions, give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!