12 Things You Should Realize about Real Estate comes as an inspiration from a post on a website called “The Lighter Side of Real Estate” called 12 things you should know about real estate.

Here are the 12 things from the “Lighter Side of Real Estate” website, and here is my take on each one:

  1. A House is Only Worth What A Buyer is Willing to Pay for It. This is often a hard one to hear as a seller. A seller may put a lot of money into a house over time, doing updates and upgrades. However, that doesn’t mean a buyer is willing to pay for those when the time comes. Whether they are not the buyer’s taste, or they are older upgrades, or don’t necessarily fit into the theme of the house, improvements made to a house do not always correlate into the seller getting the same amount out that they put into those updates when selling.
  2. Upgrades May Not increase VALUE, but may increase Salability. This goes along with the first one – doing upgrades and updates are needed and wanted. They may not necessarily add monetary value, but they may make your home more salable. And though it may not ADD value, it may not take AWAY value, which a lack of updates and upgrades may potentially do.
  3. Your Home Needs to be Clean. Very clean. People want to see clean homes. They don’t want to see others’ messes, dirt, grime, etc. No dishes in the sink, no dirt and grime on the appliances or counters. No piles of dog hair on the couch. No mud tracks through the kitchen. They want to see sparkling clean! They want to be able to visualize their own dirt, grime and mess in the home!
  4. Curb Appeal Is Important. It is a buyer’s first impression of your home. Neat, tidy, fresh paint, flowers, freshly cut grass, etc. The exterior of your home needs to be inviting.
  5. Pet Odor Needs to GO. You want people talking about the good of your home. Not that it smells like cat/dog/cat litter/cat urine. Go to your local pet store. There are items in the stores that are supposed to help with smells. Replace carpet or flooring if necessary. You really don’t want your home to be remembered as the home that smells like cat pee.
  6. Neutral Paint and Decor For the Win. These are usually the safest way to appeal to the biggest group of potential buyers. People like neutral colors because they can picture THEIR decor, their furniture, their items in the house. Bright, bold colors may clash with their style, and it is hard for many people to imagine the house without those colors.
  7. Cheap Updates look Cheap. Often, when it comes to updates, there is the “cheap” route, the middle of the road, and the expensive route. Usually, the cheap route looks cheap to a buyer. For a seller, going the cheap route when doing updates could potentially bring low offers when going to sell your home, because buyers usually can see that these “updates” are inexpensive, and they feel they will need to redo them.
  8. Almost Everything is Negotiable. You have to be very specific with curtains, curtain rods, appliances, and more in the house. As a buyer, if you want something in the house, make sure that it is included in the contract. As a seller, if you want to TAKE something with you, you need to be very specific and have it excluded in the written contract!
  9. Make Decisions Quickly. If the real estate market is hot in your area, then as a buyer, you need to make decisions quickly. In some areas of the country, at the time of this writing, some homes are selling very, very swiftly – some within a day on the market, some within a few days. If your market is this way, you need to decide if a house you view is the right home for you – and fast – if you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to potentially get the house!
  10. Location is Important. When buying a home, you should realize that location is very important. You need to think ahead – even if you think you are going to live somewhere for the rest of your life, the likelihood is that is not the case. Think about when you go to sell – where are other buyers clamoring to live? Consider those areas if they would work for you now (price-wise, amenities, and the like) because it will most likely help you later when you go to sell your home.
  11. Buyers Will Notice The Work They Feel They are Going to Have to Do BEFORE they notice the work that has already been done. This is another hard one for a seller to hear. Yes, you make have upgraded your kitchen, but if a buyer sees they have to do the entire rest of the house, the kitchen being done is great…BUT…doesn’t bring that value you think and hope it will. (See #1.)
  12. When Your Home Is Priced Correctly, It Will Sell. As a home seller, you want to try to get as much out of your house as possible. That being said, if it is overpriced for the market, buyers may not put in an offer, if they even take the time to come to see your house. Try to understand your market as best you can. Have your agent run a market analysis. Keep updated on what is selling in your area, and compare your home to those. Why did buyers choose that one over yours? What is your price in comparison?

This list is just a few of the things you should realize about real estate. There is so much more to know about the nuances and details of buying and selling real estate – some of which is specific to your local real estate market.

For more information about selling or buying a house in Baltimore, please contact me. I would love to help!