5 CRITERIA FOR PRICING A HOME

When you put your home up for sale, one of the best ways to determine the asking price is to look at comparable sales. There’s rarely a perfect apples-to-apples comparison, so a pricing decision often relies on comparisons to several recent sales in the area. Here are five criteria to look for in a sales comparison.

  1. Location: Homes in the same neighborhood typically follow the same market trends. Comparing your home to another in the same neighborhood is a good start, but comparing it to homes on the same street or block is even better.
  2. Date of sale: It varies by location, but housing markets can see a ton of fluctuation in a short time period. It‘s best to use the most recent sales data available.
  3. Home build: Look for homes with similar architectural styles, numbers of bathrooms and bedrooms, square footage, and other basics.
  4. Features and upgrades: Remodeled bathrooms and kitchens can raise a home’s price, and so can less flashy upgrades like a new roof or HVAC system. Be sure to look for similar bells and whistles.
  5. Sale types: Homes that are sold as short sales or foreclosures are often in distress or sold at a lower price than they’d receive from a more typical sale. These homes are not as useful for comparisons.

I strongly recommend using a Realtor to determine the best selling price for your home. The information they have at their fingertips on all of the above criteria as well as their ability to pre-screen a prospective buyer will save you a lot of time and effort.

When you are ready to look into financing, I stand ready to help you with every available program to meet your needs.

Investing in Real Estate? Try this Strategy, Buy Property That’s Not For Sale

Buying real estate can start with a look in the newspaper, a visit to a broker, or a search online. These are all good ways to find your next investment property. You’re looking at the same properties as every other investor, so it’s not always easy to beat the competition to a great buy.

A better way to find good real estate investments is to look for properties that aren’t yet for sale, and make an offer. A friend of mine bought his first home this way. He put an ad in the paper stating what he was looking for, and soon had a call from an old couple that had been thinking about selling. He bought their place at a good price, and saved a broker’s commission.

Buying investment real estate that isn’t for sale starts with a three step search process.

First decide what you are looking for. Single family rentals or apartment buildings? Then start looking for properties that fit your criteria. Then contact the owners.

Buying Real Estate From Non-Sellers

Don’t limit yourself to “fixer-uppers” or other “problem” properties that seem more likely to have owners willing to sell. Many owners of investment real estate have thought of selling, so you can start with almost any building you like. You never know beforehand if or why a landlord is ready to call it quits. You find out by asking.

Tact is necessary here. Call the owner and tell him (or her) you’re an investor, not a broker. Let him know that you like what you see. Tell him you can have an offer ready in a week if he’s interested. If he’s not interested, thank him politely and hang up, but send him your card or a letter. Many investors have bought from owners that changed their minds.

If there is some interest, explain that you are an investor, so your offer will have to be based on your return on investment. This means you’ll need to see the books. Specifically, you’ll need to see the rent roll listing the units and what they rent for, plus current occupancy, and operating expenses for the last year.

Have a confidentiality agreement ready before you call. Let the owner know that you’ll sign it and deliver it to him before you see the books. He may not want to let the tenants know he’s thinking of selling, so inspecting the units may have to wait until you make an offer. Just make an acceptable inspection a contingency in the offer.

Why buy investment properties this way? No competition and no sales commission means you may get a better price. Also, instead of waiting for that perfect property to be listed for sale, you just find it now. Why wait until it’s for sale before buying real estate?