Have you ever thought about how the internet has completely changed the way we buy and sell real estate? Many years ago, home sellers would choose to list their home with a variety of real estate agents. Buyers would walk into their local real estate agent’s office and be taken for a drive by an agent. They were often shown properties that were irrelevant to their requirements. It would take at least a week to find an appropriate house to buy. When an offer was agreed to, the real estate agents would have to drive to the seller to get contracts signed.
In the early 90’s, buyers would generally view properties for sale in a real estate agent’s office window. Sometimes they would use a box-like, large mobile phone to call and enquire. Sellers were more knowledgeable and were beginning to recognise the benefits of exclusive agency listings. The only way, however, buyers could view a property was by physically visiting it. There was no internet.
Every activity used a lot of time. Real estate agents took phooks, and had to wait for them to be developed. If the property was advertised in a local newspaper, the photos and blurb had to be physically handed to the editor. Ownership information had to be obtained, with council permission, from floppy discs. Hand written letters were written to owners, and envelopes sealed with tongues!
How the times have changed. The launch of the internet changed buying and selling real estate in so many ways. Real estate agents were given the opportunity to expose properties to a world-wide market. Ownsership information was instantly accessible, and digital photos could be emailed to buyers, newspapers, and be immediately available for potential buyers to view. There was suddenly more time to spend with customers. Today, the internet saves huge chunks of time. Buyers can sift through properties without even speaking to an agent. When a buyer wants to inspect a property they are usually ready to buy. They can even see what the surrounding houses look like on Google Street View. Social media like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter can expose a property virally, and real estate agents can communicate with both buyers and sellers more efficiently. Technology and the internet has changed the way real estate is bought and sold. If you want maximum exposure for your home, choose a real estate agent who uses the internet and is up to date with technology.
Are you finding it difficult to sell your home? Making some affordable and simple alterations to the décor in your home could make a massive difference, and even get you a higher price. Here are some tips to help you sell-
1. Unclutter and depersonalize: Buyers find it hard to imagine living in a house that is cluttered. Create a light, spacious and inviting house. Remove any bits of furniture that make a room feel crowded, and box up those items that are not essential. And think of this packing away process as a head start on what you will need to do before your move.
2. Remove dated window dressings: Old curtains and broken blinds will do nothing to help you sell. Wooden vertical blinds are cheap and easy to install. Use lighter woods for smaller rooms, and use darker woods for larger ones.
3. Redecorate: Give your walls a fresh coat of paint, especially if they are brightly painted. Choose a neutral shade, it makes it easier for the buyer to visualize how they would use each room.
4. Organize your storage: Put anything you do not need in storage and ensure your cupboards are neat and tidy. Stuffed cupboards make the home look like there isn’t enough storage.
5. Make a feature of your flooring: Get rid of worn and dirty carpet. If there is hardwood floorboards underneath , polish them. If not, give the carpet a good steam clean.
If you follow these five tips, with a little effort and at low cost your home will be much more desirable to buyers.
If you have sufficient space, place a range of matching terracotta pots with plants agains the wall near your entrance. For the average sized doorway use the pots up to a metre high. If your home is an olders style, aged classic cone shaped pots with a rolled rim containing colourful flowers, like geraniums, will give a traditional welcome feeling. For more modern homes tall angular pots that taper downwards are very popular.Try and keep everthing symmetrical.
Often hallways are narrow and dark. If your house suffers from this problem, try painting the walls white to lighten things up, or add a sky light.
Your front door is the first thing your buyers see, so if it needs a lick of paint get out the brushes! You might also consider a new handle or knocker. This is an inexpensive way to update your door.
Guide buyers to your door with a paved pathway. Plain white pavers look terrific against a green lawn. If the steps to your front door look at a little shabby a great trick is to the tile the step rises, rather than ripping everything out and starting from scratch.
In many areas, security and privacy are selling points, so a low to medium wall at the front of your house can appeal to buyers. Dont forget to check with the local council to ensure all building regulations are met.
The kitchen is the one room that can make or break a sale. It is usually the most expensive room in any house, so if you are selling your home prospective buyers don’t want to see a kitchen that needs a total upgrade. This doesn’t’ necessarily mean a total re-fit, there are some small things you can do to make your kitchen more appealing to buyers.
If you have more on your kitchn benches than in the cupboards you need to clear the clutter. A fresh coat of paint can work wonders in a drab kitchen, especially if cooking splatters have become a feature! Don’t forget your worn tiles – a little primer and paint can make a huge difference.
Buyers know just how expensive a new oven or dishwasher can be, so they may shy away from your house if they think they will need to spend up big on replacements for these appliances. If your appliances are out of date, consider replacing them. It may be a worthwhile investment.
Swapping cabinet doors can give your kitchen a whole new look. If entirely new doors are outside your budget you can make a huge difference by simply replacing the handles of your cupboads and drawers.
Being a task room, the lighting in a kitchen is something buyers will take careful note of. A good idea is to install fluorescent or spot lights under top cupboard to provide light for the benchtop work area.
Manypeople think that replacing a scratched and stained benchtop is just too costly, but not all benchtop materials are that expensive. This small investment could save your sale!
If your kitchen floor is a little worse for wear, lift the lino and if you have them, polish the floorboards udnerneath. Otherwise lay vinyl flooring, which is easy to clean. Alternatively you may like to use tiles for a contemporary cool feeling
Whatever condition your bathroom is in, it must be clean. Nothing puts buyers off like a dirty toilet and mould! Clean your tiles and grouting, make sure your windows, mirrors and shower screens are spotless and free of streaks. Hairs in the drains are a real put off, so check this before your open your home to buyers. When you’re selling, replace your soap bars with liquid soap, there will be less mess to take care of.
It is a fact of life that bad smells can creep into your bathrooms. Nothing will put a buyer off faster than a bad smell, so make sure you air your bathrooms well, open the windows, use the extractor fan and add some potpourri or air freshner if needed.
Cracked basin, toilets or tubs give the impression the room is unhygienic, so consider replacing these. It is not that expensive provided you don’t change the plumbing.
If you have a small bathroom, don’t clutter the limited wall space with towel rails. These can be on the back of the door. If you are renovating a small bathroom, consider wall mounted sinks and toilets. Have good storage to hide bits and pieces, keep te colour scheme simple and use big mirrors to enhance the room’s size.
Today luxury spa bathrooms are very popular, but we don’t all have this look. You can, however, add a little luxury to any bathroom. Fresh plump towels, some handmade soaps, plant or fresh flowers and some boutique bath products set out in your bathroom will give that feeling of luxury.
Stained or chipped bathtubs and basins can be easily fixed by enamelling companies that can give your fitting a whole new look. They can even enamel old tiles, so if your bathroom’s colour scheme is straight out of the 1970’s this simple inexpensive process could save your sale. Add to this a fresh coat of paint on the walls and you have a whole new bathroom.
The garden is one place you can have fun with colour but rather than introduce lots of different colours into a small garden bed, try sticking to one shade, perhaps using varying tones. You can add instant colour with pots of whatever is in flower from the nursery.
Just like inside your house, your garden should be neat, tidy and clear of clutter. Weed your garden and keep the lawn trimmed when opening you home for inspection. Consider your plants – remove dead plants and replace with new specimens, but make sure they suit the conditions in your garden: you don’t want them to die before you sell.
You can give your garden a simple makeover before you sell by adding defining borders to your flower beds and adding a focal point. Timber borders are popular, or your can outline your beds with small shrubs or grasses. Add a few larger plants as focal points but keep them in proportion to the size of your garden.