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Is Your Home Photo-Ready for Sale?

You are finally ready to sell your home. The more people that come to tour your home, the better. But what attracts potential buyers to your home? Pictures.  They’re worth a thousand words and they could even be worth thousands of dollars if they attract the right buyer to your listing.

Photos are the first impression potential buyers have of your home, they are the thing that will intrigue people to come see more. Your home must present as aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Below are some important tips to remember when preparing to take your pictures.

Eliminate Clutter
Everyone is guilty of clutter, whether it’s in a hidden junk drawer or stacked high in your spare bedroom. An important factor to keep in mind when taking photos for the sale of your home is that nobody wants to see your clutter. It is essential to create an illusion of simplicity for your photos, allowing others to imagine it as their future home.

  • Clear Counters: Making sure your bathroom counters, kitchen counters, and dresser tops in each room are cleared off is an easy way to eliminate visual clutter from photos.
  • Free the Floors: Be sure all of the floors are free of chaos. Try to pick up any toys off the floor, no laundry baskets, or random piles you may have stacked up in any rooms.
  • Rearrange Rooms: If you have to go room-to-room and move things around as you snap your shots, do so to ensure each room has a simplistic look.

Cleanliness
Surprisingly enough, the cleanliness of a home can oftentimes be detected in pictures. We are not suggesting you deep clean your entire house until you are aching, but we do have a few tips that will help your home look radiant for photos.

  • Bathrooms: Make sure your toilets, shower, and sink are sparkling before snapping photos. If you happen to have 3 shampoos, 2 conditioners, 4 body washes, and multiple shave creams stacked in the corners of your shower consider removing those excess items for the pictures.
  • Appliances: Be sure your appliances are nice and clean. Wipe away any grease splatters from your stove, spots on the refrigerator and give your washer and dryer a quick wipe down.
  • Floors: Whether you have hardwood floors, linoleum or carpet- get those floors clean. For bare floors be sure any dust is gone and the floors are shining, and for carpeted floors run the vacuum over them to create fresh lines for your photos.

Be sure to follow these tips and tricks when you are trying to sell. If you want more ideas for what type of pictures stand out, look online at some homes that are for sale to see what pictures appeal to you.

Another Alternative
If you’re ready to sell NOW and don’t have time for a photo-finish, then contact us at Seller’s Advantage online or call us at 1-800-208-3243 to get a no-cost, no-obligation quote on your home. We purchase homes in AS-IS condition and can give you a cash offer in as little as 24 hours.

Tips for Selling Your Home: Bathroom Edition

If your house is like most homes in the United States, then your bathrooms aren’t much bigger than the average walk-in closet. However, bathrooms also happen to be one of the highest traffic areas in any home. Both of these factors make bathrooms one of the most important points on a buyers list. Modern homeowners want larger bathrooms with more creature comforts. Unfortunately, most sellers aren’t interested in remodeling their old home before they put it on the market. If you are one of them, here are a few tips on making sure your bathroom is still a selling point without tearing out the walls.

Plumbing
If your plumbing isn’t working correctly when prospective buyers come to look at your house, then you will need to prepare yourself for lower bids and the possibility of contract repairs prior to your sale. Make sure to repair any leaking, out of code or awkward plumbing situations BEFORE your buyers arrive.

Deep Cleaning
This one may seem obvious, but check again – most of us tend to overlook sticky fingerprints on cabinets, build up around the base of the shower and toilet, and grime in the light fixtures. Your sellers won’t be counting off dollars for each sticky smear, but your house is going to look a lot less impressive than the competition. Have someone else check your work before you call it good to ensure your bathroom is spotless.

Fresh Paint
The difference that a fresh coat of paint can make is truly amazing. Fresh paint can help hide old stains and dirt and a little color can make your bathroom look larger, brighter and more inviting. Chose colors that match your fixtures and don’t over-do it. Blue can really make plain white and silver pop, but too much and your bathroom will end up looking small and kitschy. However, no matter how tempting it may seem – do not paint over mold and mildew on your walls. Deliberate attempts to cover-up, rather than remediate, can end up costing you big-time.

Update Fixtures
Updating your fixtures is a great way to help ensure that your bathroom is up to date without actually remodeling. Replacing your toilet, faucets, mirrors and towel/tissue holders can put a whole new spin on your room. If you’re willing to do the work yourself you can save quite a bit of money on an update that is sure to leave an impression.

Remember – selling your home IS a competition and bathrooms are one of the biggest concerns on a conventional buyers short-list. However, as a non-traditional buyer, Seller’s Advantage is prepared to take on the remodeling so you don’t have to. Contact us online or by phone at 1-800-208-3243 to get a no-cost, no-obligation quote on your home. We purchase homes in AS-IS condition and can give you a cash offer in as little as 24 hours.

Seller Has Unanticipated High Costs for House Sale

Home sales can be a challenge for the seller, with a lot of unpredictability. Mark and Debbie found this out the hard way.

The couple had rented their former residence located in a desirable area of town. Mark and Debbie decided that they wanted quick cash, and priced the house at the realtor’s recommended competitive price. After making repairs to the house, like replacing a broken tile, the residence was placed on the market.

An offer came in quickly. The potential buyer backed out when the inspector noticed a water leak on the patio. The roof was replaced before the home was relisted. The new roof cost the couple $9,936. A leak was also found in the water heater, this was a repair of $450. After the residence was listed again, the next potential buyer backed out because the home had polyurethane plumbing. Determined that this would not deter the next potential buyer, the sellers replaced the plumbing at a cost of $3,967. While waiting for the third offer to close, a tree fell on the screened in patio. This was a repair of $2,400.

Mortgage payments, basic utilities, and landscaping continued to eat into their cash. With the third offer at $20,000 less than the asking price, the sellers made much less than they had expected.

Mark and Debbie wished that they could have had a better idea of the final number sooner. The sellers were grateful when the house finally sold after months of stress.

​If you want to sell your home quickly without expensive repairs, contact Seller’s Advantage online (https://www.sellersadvantage.com/contact/) or call us at 1-800-208-3243 to get a no-cost, no-obligation quote on your home. We purchase homes in AS-IS condition and can give you a cash offer in as little as 24 hours.

The Myths of Owning Investment Property: Landlord Drama

Every day, people find themselves with an extra house on their hands. It could be from an inheritance, a settlement, or simply a house or condo that you didn’t sell when you bought your new home. However you got it, you’ve got to deal with it. Your friends are probably telling you to hang on to it, you can make a killing if you turn it into an investment property. These friends may not have any investment properties of their own  or understand the responsibilities involved in becoming a landlord.

Yes, the market nationally for rental homes is blistering hot, and rents have never been higher. Even if you own the home outright, it’s not free to keep owning it. You’ll have to pay taxes on it, and if it’s inherited you may find yourself owing back taxes. Even without a mortgage requiring homeowner’s insurance you need to have the structure insured–if a tree falls on it or lightning strikes you’re left with a hole in the roof or a burned out house, so a little policy to cover costs to repair is a really good idea.  If your property has any HOA dues you’ve still got those to pay on a regular schedule.

Once you’ve worked out the budget for the cost to own, figure out your cost to rent. You heard that right–it will cost you to rent your house. You’ll need to spruce up the place–repair any damages to walls, floors, windows, whatever is less than shipshape. A fresh coat of neutral paint, new or refinished floors, and new appliances are necessary to attract the sort of tenant you want, and the landscaping should be freshened up.

If you’re still determined to be a landlord, you might need a property management company to deal with routine maintenance and repairs, or be prepared to be very handy and available 24/7. States have a variety of rules defining the landlord/tenant relationship, but failing to respond to maintenance requests in a timely manner is frowned upon in most states and you don’t want to go to court because you didn’t get the message the water heater burst.

There is an alternative to trying your hand at managing property–let Seller’s Advantage buy it. We can usually close a transaction in a couple of weeks, and you have the benefits of ready cash and keeping that landlord dream alive. If you think this is the solution for your extra house, contact us and learn more about our simple, no-pressure home buying process.

Why Appliances Matter – Purchasing New Appliances Before Selling Your Home

You’ve done it all – the house is staged with borrowed furniture, the curtains tied back to let in the sun and the counters have been swept clean and freshly washed. It looks a little bare, but that’s just how staged houses look – bare and a tad too clean. Unfortunately, no matter how much elbow grease you put into your cupboards and floors, if you haven’t updated your appliances in years then your kitchen might be making buyers think twice.

Selling With Appliances
Most prospective home buyers prefer to see appliances in the kitchen. Purchasing a home without a dishwasher, stove, microwave and fridge can mean a significant, immediate investment on top of the purchase price. A new set of appliances can easily run $3,000 or more depending on the quality and brand they prefer. This is why many realtors suggest selling your home with the appliances intact. Because when the buyer knows they will need to purchase and pay for new appliances, their offers will reflect their estimate of the after purchase costs.

Quality Matters
The quality of the appliances you have inside your home speaks to your prospective buyer – what it says depends on what they are looking for. Low quality, old or lightly damaged appliances may be a mild disappointment for some and a major passing point for others.

First Time Home Buyers – If your buyers haven’t looked at many houses yet, they may still be holding on to a few Pie-in-the-Sky dreams of gleaming hardwood floors, double garages and stainless steel appliances. If your home isn’t what they are looking for, they will give it a hard pass. However, after reconciling their dreams with their checkbooks they may find themselves back for a second look. Decent appliances, in good shape and working order, can become a reasonable selling point to disenfranchised buyers.

Families – If your home is big enough and in a good area, you may be entertaining quite a few families. For these buyers, no appliances or even older, damaged appliances can become a hard no if your selling price isn’t low enough. Families worry about quality and finding funds to replace failing appliances can be difficult. If your appliances don’t look like they have at least 3+ years of service left in them you can expect these buyers to pass.

Professionals – If you live in a nice enough area and your home is in good shape, you may see quite a few single or professional couples coming through your doors. Unlike most prospective buyers, professionals are more likely to see your appliances as an unwanted expense than an asset. For these buyers, the cost of purchasing new appliances isn’t a hindrance and having brand new appliances installed is preferable to using those they have purchased with the house.

Planning Ahead
Marketing to your buyer-group is an important part of selling your home. While every buyer is an individual, your realtor can help you determine what preferences prospective buyers for your home will have. As far as appliances go – If they are in poor repair, then it will usually be in your best interest to replace them.  Buyers tend to overestimate the price of purchasing new appliances and could reduce their offer by thousands more than you would spend replacing the appliances prior to selling.

An Easier Way to Sell
Not all sales require this type of attention, however. If you are looking for a quick sale, without the hassle of tailoring your house to meet buyer expectations then Contact Seller’s Advantage online or call us at 1-888-654-ASIS (2747) to get a no-cost, no-obligation quote on your home. We purchase homes in AS-IS condition and can give you a cash offer in as little as 24 hours.

Common Home Repairs & Cost Creep

So you’d like to sell your house, but you need to “fix up a couple of things” before you talk to a realtor about putting it on the market. It’s amazing how you stop seeing things like ratty bath hardware and peeling deck paint, and then when you really look you’re kind of disgusted with how you live! YouTube is loaded with how-to videos that make it look so easy to repair tile or shore up deck supports, so you think, “I can do this, no problem” and hit the hardware store with a list of stuff and a quick weekend project.

The problem is, nothing involving home repairs is every as easy as it seems and before you know it, you can easily spend thousands on a project that you thought would cost a few hundred at most.

Take that deck with the peeling paint that’s a little saggy. If it’s more than a few years old, it could well be out of code if your railings are horizontal rather than vertical. When you go to the hardware store to figure out how to fix it, that’s a question the salesman will ask–and if you’re out of code you’ll have to pay for an updated deck one way or the other; on the front end if you fix it yourself, or as a credit or price decrease to the buyer. If you’re naturally handy and have the tools, it might be less expensive to do it yourself. But if you’re like most homeowners and don’t have post hole diggers, circular saws, and an impact drill, you’re going to spend a lot in that repair–you can rent the tools if you’re confident using them, and buy the materials for the project. Or hire a professional to do it–again, costing well over the three or four hundred you had budgeted.

Your third option, saving the best for last, is to let Sellers Advantage come in and buy your home in a couple of weeks, as is. Save yourself time, stress, and money with the easiest real estate transaction you’ll ever have. Contact us today, call the moving trucks tomorrow!

Is Your Home Holding You Back? Five Things That Can Cause You to Outgrow Your Living Space

If you are like most homeowners, you fell in love with your house on sight. Something about it – maybe it was the location or the size, the yard – something made it stand out. Unfortunately, as our lives change we often find that the things that drew us to our home are not as important to us as they once were. If your house has become a stumbling block, it might be time to consider a moving on.

Situations Change
How long have you been in your home? What kind of changes have you seen over that time? Have you had children grow up, or brought in new ones? Maybe had a parent move in or move out? There are a lot of reasons why people outgrow their home.

  • Family size
  • Employment
  • Finances
  • Mobility
  • Hobbies

Adjusting Your Home
On finding themselves stuck between the hassle of moving and staying, many homeowners first chose to remodel their home in hopes of finding a simpler solution. For some, making a few minor, or major, alterations is enough.

Accessibility and mobility remodels are a great way to keep yourself in your home if you have developed difficulties getting around. Many homeowners who have children that have left the home find that there is just too much space. A home office or a hobby area with plenty of shelves and work areas can help you fill up those empty spaces.

Moving On
For others, especially those with long commutes or financial motives, remodeling simply isn’t an option. Making the choice to put your home on the market is not always easy. Moving can be a difficult process – finding and purchasing a new home, packing up and moving boxes and selling your old home are chaotic and stressful situations. They can be scary, time-consuming and emotionally disruptive even under the best circumstances. Your best bet for a smooth transition is to plan ahead. Make sure you know what you are looking for, and if you expect your situation to change it is smart to take future needs into consideration when looking for your next home.

A Stress-free Move
Moving doesn’t have to mean added stress.   Contact Seller’s Advantage online or call us at 1-800-208-3243 to get a no-cost, no-obligation quote on your home. We purchase homes in AS-IS condition and can give you a cash offer in as little as 24 hours.

How Too Much Time Can Kill Home Deals

Just because you’ve gotten a great offer for your home doesn’t mean you’re home free. The harsh reality is that once you’ve signed a contract, it’s as likely that your buyer will walk away as that they will stick around for closing.

Since the real estate market crashed in the late 2000’s, it’s been a lot easier for a buyer to walk away from a house, even when they’ve signed a contract and made an earnest money deposit. And the longer the period between signing a contract and the closing, the more likely that your sale will fall through.

Buyers walk away from contracts for lots of reasons, but the most common one is that the inspection reveals more damage and repairs than you are willing to make. Electrical wiring, moisture, a failing HVAC system, and cracks in the foundation are some major repairs that will kill a sale–they are expensive to repair, and if there are code violations of any sort then a lender won’t take the property as collateral. They may decide that the house is too dated and the cosmetic repairs they want to make are too expensive.

Other times, when a closing is not scheduled for several weeks post-contract, the buyers get a case of buyers remorse and second guess their decision to buy your house. Or they find another one they like better, and decide to terminate their contract with you.

​In many cases, when a buyer terminates a real estate contract, they are entitled to get their earnest money back, leaving you with no sale and no cash. You’re left to put your house back on the market and wait for another buyer, hoping that the next one won’t walk away.

At Sellers Advantage, we can take the stress away from selling your house. We don’t worry about inspections and dated bathrooms, and can give you cash for the house in a few days. If you want a hassle-free sale, contact us today.

Homeowner Hacks: 5 Tips For Tiny House Living

The tiny house revolution looked like it was just a fad, at first, but it’s proved to have quite a lot of staying power. With housing costs remaining high, and so many people struggling with both the financial cost and the carbon footprint of full-sized homes, the option of living in a tiny home has a strong appeal. It does take a bit of adjustment, though.

If you’re used to living in a regular home, or even in an apartment, moving to a tiny house will take some getting used to. Fortunately, here are some tips to make it a little easier on yourself. Also helpful for those who just don’t seem to have enough space in their homes, and who want to make the most of what they’ve got.

Tip #1: Downsize Your Possessions
This is the most obvious step, but it’s also one of the most difficult ones for people who are trying to live in a tiny house. This is particularly true if you’re used to living in a place with room to sprawl. The first thing you should do is get rid of everything you don’t truly need. So, while you might be sentimental about those jeans you haven’t worn since high school, or that old Christmas tree stand, there simply won’t be room for that stuff in your tiny house.

With that said, you don’t have to necessary throw your possessions away. While you should donate or recycle things you don’t genuinely need (especially if you have friends or family members who could use that big couch or desktop computer), you can put stuff you will use, but which you don’t have room for, in self-storage. But that might defeat the purpose of living a smaller, sleeker lifestyle for some folks.

Tip #2: Get Clever With Your Storage
As HGTV points out, storage is at a premium in tiny houses. With that said, it’s surprising just how many storage options we overlook in our daily lives. If you train yourself to see storage potential in your tiny house, then you’ll be surprised how many places you can keep your stuff.

As an example, most tiny houses use a loft bed as a way to maximize the available space. Lofts have stairs leading up to them, and even a narrow staircase has a lot of room inside it that can be used to store smaller items. Whether you want a bookshelf, somewhere to keep your DVDs, or just some spillover drawers, this is an ideal place to put them. If you have a couch, consider a drawer for interior storage underneath it. If you have a table, make sure the top opens up, or there is room under it to keep your stuff. You only have so much space, but if you’re smart, you can make sure your tiny house is just chock full of things you want to have on hand.

Tip #3: Don’t Forget To Put Your Walls To Work
Vertical storage is also an important part of tiny house living, and as Compact Appliance points out, some of the most efficient tiny houses are the ones where the walls play an active, vital role in day-to-day living.

For an example of this, look at the kitchen. Are there places to hang utensils from the walls? A magnetic knife block along one wall can minimize space used, and keep all your blades close to hand for when you’re preparing meals. Do you have overhead hooks you can hang your pots and pans from? This might seem decorative, but it actually frees up a lot of space in cabinets and drawers, and it allows you easy access to your cookware. If you walk out to your living space, do you have shelves on the walls for your books, your movies, and your other miscellaneous entertainments? Is your TV set into the wall, freeing up space that would otherwise be taken up with another stationary object? Have you decided to forego a traditional TV set entirely, opting for a projector that uses a thin screen that you can easily roll back up into the ceiling when it isn’t being used?

These are the sorts of things your walls, and your ceiling, can do to make your tiny space work extra hard.

Tip #4: Remember Your Outdoor Space, Too
Sometimes it’s just not welcoming outside… but a lot of the time, it is! As Mother Earth News reminds us, it’s important to both have space where you can be by yourself (if you’re sharing a tiny house), and to remember that the interior of your home is only a fraction of the space you have available. If your tiny house has a porch, then that’s space you can use to relax, and stretch out with a book, or your laptop. If you have an awning, you could set it up on one half of your tiny house to make a welcoming shade pool on one side, and once you add some folding chairs and a camp table, you’ve got a place you can relax, spend time with friends, or even have dinner without feeling like you’re stuck in the same, small nook.

Tip #5: Get Only What You Need At The Grocery Store
We tend to take food for granted, but when you live in a tiny house it’s important to make sure you have the necessities, and maybe a little extra. Refrigerators tend to be small, freezers tend to be smaller, and there just isn’t a lot of overflow space. So remember to make your list, and stick to it. Impulse purchases can be the difference between being stocked, and being overstocked.

​These are just a few, simple tips for getting the most out of your tiny house experience. If you still find your home is too small, though, you can always sell it quickly and upsize. We buy houses of any size and in any condition. For a cash offer in as little as 24 hours, contact us at Seller’s Advantage today!

Tenant Drama: 5 Reasons You Might Not Want to Be a Landlord

When you’ve inherited a property or have otherwise come into an extra property, your first thought may be to use it as a rental property. After all, that’s an ongoing source of income, right? Unfortunately, operating a rental property offers more challenges than many people realize–and in many cases, you’ll find that it’s simply not worth the struggle. These five challenges of being a landlord will help convince you to save the hassle and sell the house, instead.

1. Tenants who call at all hours of the night over the simplest things.
You know when you decide to be a landlord that you’re going to get some maintenance calls. Some tenants, however, will call over the smallest things in the middle of the night: a faucet that’s dripping, a toilet that won’t stop running, or other little hassles.

2. Constantly finding new tenants.
Lucky landlords get one tenant who moves into a home and stays there for years. Just as often, however, you’ll find that you’re constantly watching one tenant move out and looking for a new one to move in. That means checking references, reading applications, and letting potential tenants in to view the property on a regular basis–and it all adds up to a lot of time spent at your rental property when you’d rather be doing other things.

3. Tenants who don’t take care of the property.
It’s a rental. What do they care? They let the yard get overgrown, let the kids color on the walls, and don’t bother to report minor issues so that you can fix them before they cause big problems. That means that when they move out, you’re going to have a big mess to deal with.

4. Tenants who won’t move out.
Worse than tenants who are constantly moving in and out are the tenants that you want to move out, but who simply refuse. They aren’t paying their rent on time, you’re pretty sure they’re trashing the property, and you’re over it–but getting them out of the house is going to require a legal battle.

5. Tenants who trash the place.
Some tenants find themselves very frustrated when the time comes to move–and they’ll take it out on your property. Holes in the walls, missing doors, destroyed carpet: there are plenty of ways to make a big mess out of a rental home in even a short period of time.

Being a landlord can be an ongoing headache. If you’ve found yourself with a bonus property and want to save yourself the effort, contact us. We’ll take your bonus property off your hands.  We can give you a cash offer in as little as 24-hours and you can invest your cash in a more effective, and more manageable way.

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Seller’s Advantage is a BBB Accredited Business with an A+ Rating and has been in business for over 12 years.  We've purchased more than 10,000 properties from homeowners just like you!

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