Articles tagged with: Fullerton

Realtor Redux: Long-time rental property gets ready for market

At the Redux Realtors our aim is to help our clients make strategic improvements to their homes so they can reap the highest return on their investment once the home hits the market.

With our most recent project, a home with an out-of-state owner that’s been a rental property for the past 15 years, we’ve identified several “strategic” improvements that are necessary and a few of them may be costly.

The biggest item on our list is a new roof. The new roof will cost several thousand dollars, but will also provide a major appearance upgrade. In addition newer roofing technologies such as tiles designed to reflect solar heat can help lower utility costs. A new roof can increase a home’s resale value by as much as $12,000, according to some estimates.

The other item on our list that will be sure to cause a transformation is all the landscaping work we plan to do. The house is currently hidden by overgrown hedges, which may be a deterrent for some buyers. By trimming the landscape, we can better frame the house and make it more inviting to prospective homebuyers. Investments in landscaping can return as much as 20%, according to some estimates.

The outdoor areas are not the only part of this property that will need some TLC, but the interior improvements will have to be made with a conservative budget since such a large chunk of our budget will go toward the new roof. We also plan to refinish the original wood floors, add a new layer of interior paint, install new kitchen cabinet hardware and bring in a professional cleaner. To complete the look and accentuate the home’s many wonderful features, we also plan to stage the home using pieces from our own collection.

Overall, we anticipate this project will require an investment of about $25,000 from the home seller. All together, we expect work to last about three weeks to a month. As-is, the current tenant has offered $525,000 to purchase the house. With our Redux Realtor improvements, we hope to sell north of $625,000.

We look forward to updating everyone once the house is complete.

Do photos on your real estate listing show your house or condo in the best light?

As real estate agents in Fullerton, we spend quite a bit of time scouring photos on the CRMLS. We like to share our favorite photos each week in our “Upcoming Open Houses” feature.

Occasionally, photos we come across leave us feeling a bit perplexed. Sometimes the photos are blurry or focused so closely on an object in the house, such as a vase of flowers, that they lack a greater context. Other times the there’s so much clutter in the photos or the house is vacant and lacks a human touch.

Looking over photos this week got us thinking about some of the more common mistakes we see when it comes to real estate photography. Strong photos and smart décor are becoming increasingly important in terms of real estate marketing, especially because more and more homebuyers are first turning to photo galleries on the Internet before they ever ask to speak with an agent or tour an open house.

So without further ado, here are some of our pet peeves when it comes to real estate marketing and photography:

Real estate photos show empty house

We understand that sometimes a homeowner may need to move out before she is able to sell her condo or house. Often times, though, the owner will pack up all of her worldly possessions leaving behind an empty shell of a house. Sometimes even the refrigerator has been removed from the premises so photos of the kitchen are marred by a gaping appliance hole.

At minimum, it’s a good idea to style the living room and one of the bedrooms. Images used to market the home on various websites should highlight those rooms that are furnished and downplay any vacant rooms. Remember the goal of the photos on your online real estate listing should be to entice would-be homebuyers to tour your home. It’s much easier to forgive a vacant house in person than online.

If it’s not practical to leave some of your personal furniture behind to stage your home, consider hiring a real estate agent or firm that specializes in home staging techniques.

Personal items, clutter visible in real estate photos

We’ve come across a number of listings that showcase the homeowner’s unique personality and lifestyle in the photos: kitschy wall décor, kitchen counters overloaded with appliances, an excessive number of religious items, rooms bursting with children’s toys. There is a time and a place to broadcast the lovely qualities that make each of us unique, and real estate photos is not that place.

Selling your home is about highlighting the features that make your house attractive. It can be hard especially for long-time owners to de-clutter their spaces but it makes a huge difference in terms of selling for the highest price as well as time spent on market.

Once you get to the point where you are thinking about selling your house, consider any steps you’ll need to take to get the house is selling order. Your real estate agent should be able to help you determine which items to display and which ones to give away or place in storage.

Photos are blurry

In this digital age of photography, there is no excuse for blurry photos. Also in this category are listings where the photos are turned sideways or upside-down. Any quirks about the photos on your listing will distract prospective homebuyers and possibly turn them off to the idea of touring your house or submitting an offer.

And while we’re on this topic of quality real estate photography, invest in professional real estate photos. It may seem like a waste of resources when you have a perfectly good smart phone, but studies continue to show that strong real estate photography yields better results for sellers in terms of time spent on market and selling price. One study even showed homes with strong photography listed in the $400k to $499k range sold for more than $11,000 extra compared to comparable listings with lesser quality photos.

A professional real estate photographer does so much more than stage photos, too. Editing software allows him to touch up photos – manipulating color saturation to make photos pop, cropping photos to highlight key features and more.

Photos are too close, lack context

Occasionally we come across listings that will feature extreme close up photos that don’t seem to contribute to the story of the house. It’s one thing to get in close to show the detail of a granite counter top such as if it accompanies a couple other photos of the entire kitchen.

We’re talking about listings where there’s a photo of a solitary window or a frame that focus on the vase on a coffee table with an angled view to the kitchen doorway. We love art and artistic expression, but when it comes to selling real estate we think it’s more effective to share photos that offer a complete picture of why someone should buy the house.

Basically when it comes to real estate photography, we should all take a page from the glossy magazines. They offer the idea of a home and lifestyle in a tastefully designed abode and make it easy for their viewers to see themselves living in those photos (homes). We believe in taking a similar approach at Redux Realtors.

Fullerton Realtor explains 'range pricing' benefits, disadvantages

If you’ve toured any open houses lately, perhaps you’ve noticed some of the houses for sale list a price range as opposed to a firm number. This is a fairly common practice in the North Orange County real estate market.

Sometimes Realtors and real estate agents will “range” their listings by as much as $100,000 depending on the property’s price point.

Here at Redux Realtors we’ve found that for home sellers there are many advantages to range pricing, particularly when a home’s value falls in the high $500,000 to low $600,000 range. Primarily, range listing ensures your property will receive more online exposure than it would if the property was listed at a firm number.

For example, let’s say we had a listing with a price point around $629,000. If someone were to do an online search for real estate and set a filter for properties up to $600,000, then our listing firmly priced at $629,000 would not appear in the search results. On the other hand, if we give that listing a price range of $599,000 to $629,000, the property will appear in that real estate search for homes up to $600,000.

Increased web exposure for your property is not the only advantage a range pricing strategy offers. This pricing strategy often helps home sellers feel more comfortable with the process of assessing their home’s value and placing it on the market. The higher end of the range might represent what the seller hopes to sell for while the lower end of the range might be more in line with fair market value.

Listing a home at a price range also opens a door for home sellers to receive multiple offers at varying price points, which brings us to one possible disadvantage to the range pricing strategy. Some potential homebuyers might see the price range and attempt to low ball their offer.

While we certainly wouldn’t discourage any would-be buyer from submitting an offer, even if it’s on the lower end of the price range, we always tell homebuyers that if the market demands a higher price, this fact will come to light and they may lose out on a prime property by not submitting a more competitive offer. A seller may also choose to counter a homebuyer’s low ball offer to a higher number.

We used a range pricing strategy in our latest Realtor Redux project in Fullerton, with fantastic results. Market comparables indicated to us that the home was worth about $700,000, but our sellers felt the home might have been worth a bit more. We chose to list the house for a price range of $699,000 to $719,000 and within days the house was sold at $705,000. The sellers felt they received a fair price, and we squeezed out more proceeds from the sale. A win-win!

Range pricing is a relatively common practice in North Orange County and can be an effective strategy for maximizing your return from a home sale. We’ve found that range pricing increases online exposure for each property we list. Home sellers feel comfortable with range pricing because it helps to reconcile what one might hope to get from a home sale versus what might be considered fair market value, and it opens a door to multiple offers. While some potential homebuyers might submit low-ball offers, ultimately the market will dictate the appropriate sale price.

At Redux Realtors we’ve helped countless homeowners prep their homes for the market and list them using effective marketing strategies like range pricing. Feel free to contact us if you’re interested in learning how we can help you sell your home for top dollar.

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Company License #01272441

Company License #01272441

DRE #01189723 (Martina Bobbett)
DRE #01272441 (James Bobbett)