Keith Goad and his team provide Chicago real estate advice to buyers and sellers.  Select a category on the right(desktop) or at bottom of page (mobile) and get educated!

July 5, 2016

Renting vs Buying

 

Renting vs. Buying: What Does it Really Cost? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights:

  • The percentage of income needed to afford a median priced home is almost half the percentage of income needed to afford median rent.
  • Buying costs are significantly less than renting costs.
  • The percentage of income needed to afford a median priced home is less than the historic norm.

Bottomline:

Every person has a specific situation in terms of evaluating the rent vs buy decision.  Our team listens first then provides the optimal solution for that specific situation.  Contact us today to learn more! 

Posted in Chicago Buyers
June 29, 2016

Preparation, Price, and Promotion: The three P's of Chicago Home Sales

THREE P'S OF CHICAGO HOME SALES

PART OF THE KEITH GOAD CHICAGO MARKETING PLAN

Preparation

Is Key to Sell Your Home

Just as first impressions are important for people, they can be make or break for a home. When potential buyers walk into your house, they will start to evaluate everything they see. Their impression will ultimately determine how much they’re willing to offer on the property... or even if they’ll be interested in buying it at all.  Therefore, in order to get you the most money possible for your home, we at BHHS put a ton of care into its preparation before we put it on the market.  Quality preparation that will leave buyers with the best impression of your house involves three elements:

3 Elements Of Home Sale Preparation

1. Repairs

There are several reasons to complete repairs on your home before you put it on the market. Ultimately, buyers will pay more for a home to avoid the work of fixing it, and they will pay faster.  Moreover, any money you invest into repairs before you list — when you have time to price-shop and to use a little bit of elbow grease — will be far less than the quote from the home inspector or the concessions for which buyers will ask.  The good news is that most repairs are merely cosmetic and fairly inexpensive. Think of the things on your to-do list: that leaky faucet and the cracked bathroom tile were bothering you when you lived in the house, and they’re going to bother the new owners too. 

2. Cleanliness

You wouldn’t want your mother to come over when your house was dirty, would you? And you’re not even trying to get her to shell out thousands of dollars for the place! Buyers are easily distracted, and they will tend to focus on the negatives instead of the positives of each home they tour. Each dish left in the sink or dust bunny in the corner is going to detract from the perceived value of your home, which means a lower offer amount and more time on the market for you.

3. Staging

According to a recent study by the National Association of REALTORS(c), three key highlights stood out as it pertains to staging value:

  • Among REALTORS® who typically represent the buyer, 49 percent report most buyers are affected by home staging and 47 percent report some buyers are affected by home staging.
  • Thirty-two percent of buyers’ agents believe staged homes increases the dollar value buyers are willing to offer by one percent to five percent.
  • The median dollar value to stage a home is $675 for each home.

But a picture is worth a thousand statistics. Take a look at the images below. This home, a 3 bed/2.1 bath condo, was listed by Anant Deoras and BHHS KoenigRubloff (1506 N. Campbell #1S sold last year).

1506 North Campbell 1S Master bed

This picture above was taken prior to the staging consultation.

This picture above was professionally staged, painted, and photographed.

 

Pricing Your Home

To Sell It Fast & For More Money

 

You may have heard that there’s not much housing inventory in Chicago right now, which means that prices for homes have gone up across the board. This is great news for you as a home seller! The timing is perfect for you to get the most return on your investment into your home.  But even in today’s market, there are still homes that sit, waiting for an offer, for months and months. This time spent on MLS means that you’re still making your mortgage payments and you’re still not getting equity out from your home.  Perhaps even worse is what buyers and buyer agents think about homes that have been on the market too long. Remember how important first impressions are? The first impression a buyer gets about a home that has been listed for a long time in this hot market is this:

“Something must be wrong with that home."

That thought will scare away many buyers, and it’ll prompt the ones who remain interested to try to lowball you. But why are those homes still on the market in the first place? It’s because they are often priced “out of the market.” Take a look at the iimage below to see what we mean.

As you move farther up the Pricing Pyramid, the homes become too pricey or are in too much disrepair. In order to maximum buyer exposure we recommend pricing your property slightly below market value. This is as a result of Chicago currently being in a severe Sellers' Market.  The pricing set below market will contribute to a feeding frenzy multiple offer scenario!

Sound complicated? The good news is that we at Keith Goad Chicago have a specific promotional strategy to market your competitively priced home.

Promotion

Two-part Marketing Punch to Sell Your Home

In the “old days,” real estate agents marketing their sellers’ properties would simply put a sign in the yard, put a listing in the MLS, and pray that it sold. Even today, there are a lot of real estate professionals who think syndicating listings to portals is a job well done.  And that might actually be enough to sell your home in today’s hot market. But if that’s all an agent does to market your home to potential buyers, then they’re not fulfilling their fiduciary responsibility to you: to get you the most money possible for your home.

You see, you have a distinct advantage in wanting to sell your home right now: there isn’t much inventory, but there are a ton of buyers. A smart agent will use this classic example of supply and demand to create an auction environment for your home.  Getting multiple offers on your home will allow you to choose the best one for you, the one that has the right price, the right timeline, and the right conditions. This isn’t possible if your agent convinces you to sell the home before it’s even officially listed!

The key to creating an auction environment is promotion. We have to get your home in front of the people most likely to purchase it.

At Keith Goad Chicago, we have a two-part promotion process for each of our listings. The first part is what we call our “pre-launch” sequence, and the second is MLS marketing.

PRE-LAUNCH

The pre-launch activities use the latest technologies and our marketing know-how to seed the marketplace, optimize for SEO (search engine optimization), and position your home for the best possible impression right out of the gate. For example, we run targeted Facebook advertisements for your home and create Youtube videos to showcase it’s best features. There are several other activities performed to leverage the internet and maximize exposure. Contact us at 312.884.9793 to learn more.

MLS/ON THE MARKET

Our post-listing activities are designed to keep your home top of mind with potential buyers. We use our national network of agents to promote your home to people wanting to move to the area, and we pen compelling marketing narratives to help buyers envision living in your home. We continue to run Facebook ads and use other social media to get your home in front of the people who want to buy it.  

In 2015, the National Association of Realtors buyer profile revealed that 42% of all home buyers found the home they ended up purchasing on the internet, and that percentage is only going to grow. If you’d like more details on how we use online marketing to sell your home for as much money as possible, then please give us a call at 312.884.9793.

So, What Next?

What to Do Now to Sell Your Home? Give Us A Call at 312.884.9793

If you are considering selling your home in today’s market, we invite you to give us a call. We would love the opportunity to learn more about your specific situation and explain to you in more detail what we do differently to sell homes faster and for more money.

Or, Visit Us Online | keithgoad.com

Visit us online at www.keithgoad.com  for more information about our system and how it can help you sell your home for more money in less time.

 

Posted in Chicago Sellers
June 27, 2016

How to Amp Up The Resale Value of Your Home

How to Amp Up The Resale Value of Your Home

Whether you're putting your home on the market this year or in the next five years, it is a smart decision to start building your home's resale value now. Here are some ways to create a comfortable home while making it easier to put more money into your bank account on closing day.

Small Maintenance and Repairs

If you think that home maintenance on the weekends waste your time and energy, think again. The small chores you do around your home prevents it from losing value. Neglecting small maintenance and repairs causes 10% of your home's value to walk out your door and slip through your windows. Most appraisers claim that homes showing little to no preventative maintenance can depreciate from $15,000 to $20,000.

A study conducted by researchers at the University of Connecticut and Syracuse University shows that regular maintenance boosts your home value by about 1% per year. However, ongoing maintenance costs offset that value, which means that regular maintenance actually slows down your rate of depreciation. Furthermore, because homebuyers generally notice any repairs needed upon buying a new home, proactive maintenance lets the homebuyer know that he or she will not have to spend extra money to maintain the basics. This makes your home more attractive, and thus more likely to get higher priced offers.

Maintaining the basics can cost you little money and certainly some effort, but there’s a way to accomplish this very important activity smartly. This article by HouseLogic, for example, shows you how to keep home maintenance below $300 a year.  Planning ahead will also help make maintaining your home easier. Most professional appraisers and real estate agents recommend a proactive maintenance schedule that includes: 

 

  •  Keeping enough cash on hand to replace systems and materials
  • Creating and following a maintenance schedule
  • Planning a room redo every year
  • Keeping a notebook of all your maintenance and repairs

Landscaping

The Virginia Cooperative Extension at Virginia Tech published a study that shows landscaping can increase a home's value by 15%.  The study claims that a home valued at $150,000 could increase its value between $8,300 and $19,000 with the addition of landscaping. Particular landscape elements add different value. For instance, landscape design can increase your home's value by 42%, plant size can increase your home's value by 32%, and diversity in plants can increase your home's value by 22%. 

Replace Entrance Doors

If your entry doors are wood, consider switching them out for either fiberglass or steel doors. Steel doors add style and architectural interest to your home while improving security; you can add a 

deadbolt and electronic keypads to keep out intruders. Unlike wood doors, steel doors do not rot or splinter. 

Alternatively, fiberglass doors can be designed to look like wood doors and give your home a modern look. Fiberglass doors conserve more energy than steel doors. 

Pricewise, a steel door will cost you $1,335 with a 91% return on investment whereas a fiberglass door will cost you $3,126 with an 82.3% return on investment. 

Garage Door Replacement

At first, you might not think that your garage door increases the value of your home. However, your garage door distinguishes your home from the other homes on your block. As the largest entryway of a house, garage doors get noticed first because they're the focal point of your home. If you want to quickly increase the resale value of your home, you need to make the most of this space. 

Some interesting things being done with garage doors include: 

 

  • Increased Size: Bigger garage doors help homes stand out more, and homeowners can do more creatively with them. 
  • Bold Colors: Bright and bold colors now can complement the color of your home, or you can build a concept around the color of your home. 
  • Faux Wood: You can install fiberglass or steel garage doors that look like wood garage doors. This gives your home a new level of sophistication.
  • Windows: Large Windows on your garage door improve the aesthetic of your home, and provide light into your garage so that it's no longer a dark space. 

More importantly, a garage door replacement will cost you $1,652 and add $1,512 to the value of your home; that's a return on your investment of 91.5%. 

Fiberglass Attic Insulation

While energy efficiency is still not the sexiest selling point of your home, installing fiberglass attic insulation saves energy and garners a big payback on your investment. According to Remodeling Magazine's 2016 Cost vs. Value top trends report, fiberglass attic insulation gained the top return on investment among the 30 projects in this year's report. Using Remodel/Max as the cost source, a fiberglass attic insulation project cost $1,268 nationwide.  Real estate professionals surveyed estimated that the work would boost the price of a home at resale, within a year of its completion, by $1,482. That's a 116.9% return on investment. 

Replacing Windows

Replacing your windows is another way to save energy and increase your home's resale value. Replacing your old windows with energy saving models will beautify your home, keep it comfortable, and ease the workload of your HVAC system. According to HGTV, you'll see a reduction in your utility  bill by 7% to 15%. However, if you're selling your home, you could expect a 60% to 70% recoupment of your investment. The two types of replacement windows that fetch the best return are vinyl and wood.  

 

Remodeling Your Kitchen

Kitchen remodeling can get expensive, but small renovations can make your home more buyer friendly. Changing your kitchen's texture and color using a matte finish and neutral colors such as putty or grey enhances your home's resale value. Because matte finishes have transitional qualities, your potential homebuyer can easily match his or her stainless steel or black and white appliances. Also, refinishing cabinetry, or switching to Energy Star™ appliances provide comfort you like and pizazz buyers adore. 

Flow is important to any interior design of a home. If you feel that your kitchen hinders a good flow, change it. A small investment to knock out a non-structural wall or remove a kitchen island creates space and provides flow that buyers love. 

A minor kitchen remodel can cost you $20,122 while putting $16,716 of resale value into your home; that's an 83% payback on the project. If you want to do a major kitchen model, this can cost you about $60,000 and put about $39,000 of resale value into your home, which is only about a 65% payback on the project. Therefore, consider a minor kitchen remodel first.

Bathroom Addition or Remodel

Likewise, carefully consider adding a bathroom or remodeling your bathroom. Switching out your frosted glass shower doors for glass doors, cleaning the grout, replacing the shower and floor tiles, switching out your sink or toilet, or replacing your sink and shower fixtures can cost you little money.

Adding a bathroom can get expensive, but it can reduce congestion during hectic times and provide your guests with a bathroom. Consult with your real estate agent or a local appraiser before deciding whether a full remodel or addition is right for your situation. While a bathroom remodel will cost you about $18,000 with a return on investment of about 66%, a bathroom addition will cost you about $42,000 with a return on investment of about 56%. Therefore, it's best do your due diligence before working on your bathroom.

Your Needs and Buyers' Wants

On that note, if you need to renovate your home, be sure to consider how those changes will affect its appeal to future buyers. Knowing design trends will give you the opportunity to make changes to your home based on where your needs and your potential buyer's desires intersect, thus increasing your property's resale value drastically. 

Designers and design websites provide great ideas when you’re brainstorming home renovations. Keep in mind as you research, however, that you don’t want to sacrifice your needs for a comfortable home just for the sake of what you think a future buyer will want! 

Therefore, before you begin making any changes to your home, consult your real estate agent. Real estate agents, because we are constantly working with new buyer clients, have insider insight into what home buyers are looking for now and in the future. We’ll be able to help you make smart choices when remodeling or renovating your home. 

If you think you might want to remodel or renovate your home in the near future, or if you are just curious about other ways you can increase its resale value, please reach out to me! 

Posted in Chicago Sellers