Posts Tagged 'Preparing a Home for Sale'

East Boston Has a Strong Demand for “Buyer Friendly” Multi-Families

March is the beginning of the Spring real estate market in East Boston. And there is a strong and steady demand for two and three-family properties in our neighborhood. What has become most important to a successful sale of late is that properties be in “buyer friendly” condition. Most buyers purchasing East Boston properties are obtaining loans, often FHA (Federal Housing Authority) loans, which require properties be in adequate and properly maintained condition and that they appraise at “current market value.” In other words, not only should properties being sold to buyers with such loans be in “working order,” they should be selling at prices that are comparable to other properties that have recently sold. If a porch, roof, electrical service, or a furnace needs repair, it makes sense to act on these repairs before selling a house. And it is important to be aware which similar properties are selling and to price one’s property accordingly so that there are no financing issues later.

During the past year, unfavorable tenant conditions have deterred many buyers from making offers on properties. Some landlords try to sell properties without delivering a vacant “owner’s unit.” About 90% of purchasers of two and three-family homes intend to live in those homes and need to know there’s an empty apartment in the building they’re purchasing—this allows them to place an offer with peace of mind. Many landlords also have tenants whose rents are far below market value. Before placing a home on the market, it’s a good idea to negotiate a market value rent with a current tenant or at least get an agreement from the tenant to pay market value when a new buyer takes over. The more financially sound a building appears, the more attractive it is to prospective buyers.

In summary, East Boston has a strong demand for two and three-family homes in decent shape with tenants who pay market value rent—and that come with at least one vacancy for a prospective buyer to occupy upon purchase.

Please check back as we continue to update you on East Boston real estate happenings.  To see all our listings, or to search MLS properties, head to the Tony’s Realty Website.

Email Tony with your questions or comments.

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Successful Sellers Disclose Home Defects Before a Sale

After a seller accepts a buyer’s offer on a property and it is considered “under agreement” there are still some hurdles involved before a deal actually closes…a common one is the home inspection. Buyers should always hire a professional home inspector to perform an inspection within a week after an offer is accepted. Sellers should always check over their home for any defects, before a property is put up for sale and marketed, and should disclose those defects to their realtor or prospective buyers in advance. While it is ideal to fix leaky plumbing and touch up peeling paint, there are some major repairs a seller might not be able to do…and that is okay. If a foundation needs additional support, a roof is older, bricks need pointing, or a basement has asbestos, there is nothing wrong with placing a house up for sale as long as those defects are revealed in advance. It is much better to present a property as older with some imperfections and to sell it “as is” than to say nothing and have a buyer discover those defects at a home inspection resulting in a buyer informing the SELLER of a property’s defects. When unknown issues are discovered in a home inspection, it is not unusual for a buyer to request a seller to either fix them or give fair monetary compensation towards necessary repairs. Similarly, if a seller is marketing a property as “totally renovated” or “brand new,” it is important a seller respond cooperatively and be willing to make repairs for any minor imperfections discovered during a home inspection such as a leaky faucet, a broken appliance, or poorly installed cabinetry. Only after a home inspection process is over and all issues have been resolved, can a buyer and seller then proceed with their deal.

Please check back as we continue to update you on East Boston real estate happenings.  To see all our listings, or to search MLS properties, head to the Tony’s Realty Website.

Email Tony with your questions or comments

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Tony’s Realty in the News

See this April 18, 2010 Boston Globe article where Tony is quoted regarding the topic of landscaping:  Money Growing in Your Garden

 

Sellers Shouldn’t Delay Readying a Home for Sale this Season

Now is the busiest selling time of year in East Boston: April 15 thru August 15. The weather is warm and the days are long during these four months. The Obama tax incentive for first time buyers who place a property under contract before April 30 is also helping boost the spring market. While November thru February are the coldest, darkest, and slowest months of the year to sell a property, any time spent “thinking about” selling a home at this point in the calendar is lost marketing time. If you are planning to sell, now is the time to put your house on the market.

During prime selling season, you don’t want to waste too much time “getting your house ready” if that means “keeping it off the market.” Spend a week or so doing the most important tasks; remaining tasks can be done while the house is already listed for sale. The to do list remains pretty much the same—remove clutter as much as possible, empty basements and attics, rake leaves, throw away “yard junk,” and keep your lawn or hedges trimmed. Wash windows and doors and paint trim if necessary. Fix leaky plumbing, paint old leak stains, and service your heating furnace. In multi-family properties, clean front and back hallways, neatly print tenant names on mailboxes, and keep porches cleared of trash and extra debris. If you have any vacant apartments, it is advisable to leave at least one empty for the new homeowner. Also, gather tenant records and leases and make note of when your roof was last repaired, heating systems installed, electricity updated, etc. A well presented property along with detailed information on tenants and past improvements, or even acknowledging work that still needs to be done, will lead to a much faster, smoother sale.

Please check back as we continue to update you on East Boston real estate happenings.  To see all our listings, or to search MLS properties, head to the Tony’s Realty Website.

Email Tony with your questions or comments

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5 Tips for Selling a Multi-Family Home

Because the holiday season is the least busy time of year for selling a multi-family home, it makes for one of the best times of year a future seller can prepare a two or three-family home for sale.  Here are five simple tips to assist you in selling your multi-family home.

  1. If you have tenants, inform them their home is going up for sale.  Chances are future buyers will want to keep them on as tenants.  Arrange with tenants in advance about access for showing their units.  Some tenants prefer to be home; others would rather go out and leave their keys with a real estate agent.  Inform and discuss with tenants the best methods to having their apartments shown while your property is for sale.
  2. If you have vacancies, or if a tenant is moving, leave at least one apartment empty.  Ninety-five percent of buyers of two and three-family houses want to live in at least one unit.  Providing a vacancy makes it possible for a buyer to qualify for a loan as an owner occupant, and more simply, it gives a buyer a unit to live in.
  3. During the winter months, property owners sometimes fuss over the cost of heating vacant properties.  It is advisable to “keep the heat on” and make sure that vacant units are toasty warm.  When a buyer sees a cold house or a cold vacant apartment, they are less likely to feel comfortable and less likely to buy.  If you budget a few hundred dollars a month for heating an empty unit or house, you will get the money back when selling the house, and your property will be much more attractive than a colder, less presentable, property.
  4. Gather your data.  If you have tenants with leases or signed rental agreements, keep a folder with copies of those contracts.  If you have done recent repairs on your roof or heating system, find the receipts or copies of checks written to pay for repairs.  If you have certificates of lead paint compliance, keep them together with any other important information pertaining to the property.  And if you have a history of bills paid for water, gas or electric, keep them together.  Buyers are more likely to purchase a home from a seller who “has everything” together.
  5. De-clutter the home, hallways, yard, and basement.  If you have unnecessary items in your basement, attic, empty apartments, backyard or rear porches, throw them away or hire a junk removal company.  An emptier property is much easier to view and a buyer can more easily see what repairs need to be made (before hiring a home inspector) or what improvements have been done.  It leads to a smoother sale.  And a seller won’t have to worry about emptying everything out the home at the last minute either. 

Please check back as we continue to update you on East Boston real estate happenings.  To see all our listings, or to search MLS properties, head to the Tony’s Realty Website.

Email Tony with your questions or comments.

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Preparing a Home for Sale Is Key in Fetching Higher Sale Prices

There is a strong demand for East Boston three-family properties. Large three-families, or small ones in good condition, are beginning to sell for over $300,000—most usually sell within three months. When selling a triple-decker, it is important not only to price the property correctly, but also to properly prepare the property and gather all necessary records in order to make the property attractive to buyers.

Most buyers in East Boston will want to live in at least one unit. If there is a vacant apartment, consider leaving it empty. If you are planning to sell a property three to six months from now, it is best to ask at least one tenant to move out. The increased sale price for having at least one vacancy will make up for any lost rent during the time the property is up for sale. Also, if you have tenants with children under 6, it is important to test the apartment and common areas for lead paint and obtain a certificate of lead paint compliance. If you currently have tenants, it is important to put rental agreements in writing (even if occupants are Tenants at Will), specifying who occupies the unit, rent amount paid, and who pays for utilities. It is also important to make arrangements with tenants to show the property to prospective buyers. If you have tenants living in an in-law or illegal apartment, it is important to vacate those units. Banks will not finance buildings with illegally occupied apartments.

Properties should be well presented. Basements, backyards, stairways and porches should be as empty as possible, and overgrown trees and shrubs should be cut. If an apartment is furnished, but no longer lived in, excess belongings and clutter should be removed except for sofas, tables, chairs, bedroom furniture and wall hangings. Heating systems should be serviced with paperwork provided to buyers. Leaky plumbing should be fixed. If an electrical box has fuses, consider switching to circuit breakers. If a roof leaks or a furnace is not working, it is worth replacing each of these items. Any money spent on preparation or repairs will be made up for in a sale price.

Please check back as we continue to update you on East Boston real estate happenings.  To see all our listings, or to search MLS properties, head to the Tony’s Realty Website.

Email Tony with your questions or comments.

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Tony’s Realty in the News

See this September 20, 2009 Boston Globe Magazine article where Tony’s Realty agents are quoted regarding the topic preparing a home for sale:  10 Steps to Take Before You Sell