Flipping homes can be a great way to earn an income, whether it’s a supplemental income stream for you or a full-time gig. But there’s a lot more to selling an investment property than simply sticking a “For Sale” sign on the lawn and crossing your fingers.
If you want your sale to be a success, keep these tips in mind to make sure you do it right from start to finish.
(Note: These tips are mostly geared towards new investors, though we hope everyone can benefit from this.)
How to Invest in Real Estate While Working a Full-Time Job
Many investors think that they need to quit their job to get started in real estate. Not true! Many investors successfully build large portfolios over the years while enjoying the stability of their full-time job. If that’s something you are interested in, then this investor’s story of how he built a real estate business while keeping his 9-5 might be helpful.
8 Expert Tips to Sell Your Latest Fix & Flip Property
Get Your Home in Tip-Top Shape
Flipping requires adding strategic value to your investment property so it gives you the biggest return for your money. In addition to rehabbing any obvious issues like leaky faucets or outdated flooring, you also want to consider what people are looking for when they look at homes in your area.
Are your target buyers young couples who want an affordable starter home or well-to-do families interested in the latest finishes and amenities? You want to walk a fine line between providing the features the market wants without over-improving the home for its neighborhood.
Carefully consider the ARV of the home based on neighborhood sales comps. Don’t over-improve with the hopes that you’ll be the “best house on the block,” selling at a price point that’s higher than comps. It’s better to factor more conservatively, assuming a sales price that’s aligned with the neighborhood.
Empty homes don’t look bigger; they actually look cold and stark, and buyers have a hard time picturing what it would be like to live in them. Staging your property with paint, furniture and accessories helps show off its best features and makes it look more inviting to potential buyers. A 2013 study by the Real Estate Staging Association found that homes that were staged spent 72 percent less time on the market than homes that were not staged.
When staging, keep it simple to appeal to the widest range of people possible. Use neutral paint colors (like beige, tan, or taupe), keep furniture to a minimum (a crowded room won’t impress anyone), and add in elements that will evoke a sense of home, like magazines on the living room coffee table and scented candles in the bathroom.
Find a Knowledgable Real Estate Agent
A good agent is key to getting the best deal possible for your home—and in the most painless manner possible. An agent with lots of experience, both in the industry and with your area in particular, will guide you through everything on this list and then some, all while answering any questions you have and guiding you through any obstacles that may arise.
Ask friends and family for referrals or do an internet search for comps in your area and find out which agent is listing them. Head to their website to get a better feel for their style and then give them a call to discuss your needs. Make sure you’re comfortable with them and that they take the time to answer all of your questions thoroughly. Selling an income property can be a stressful and complicated process, and you want to know you’re in good hands.
Price It Wisely
Your real estate agent can advise you on the best way to price your home to entice buyers and get a good return on your investment, but a good place to start is to look at similar properties in your neighborhood and see what they’ve sold for. Comparables that are still on the market after many weeks may be priced too high. You can also take a look at your city’s property tax records to get an idea of the general market value for homes in your area.
Time It Right
While it’s true that spring and summer are usually the busiest time for home sales, that doesn’t mean they’re the only times you should list your home. While there may be fewer buyers in the winter, they’re likely to be more motivated (such as people who are moving for a job and need to find a new home ASAP). All market conditions are local, so if you happen to invest in an area that has a strong seasonal element, like a beach town, you’ll want to take that into consideration as well.
Get the Word Out
Your real estate agent will take care of marketing your house for you, but there’s plenty you can do to help spread the word further. Talk up your property to friends, family, and colleagues and post pictures on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Word of mouth can spread fast, and that friend-of-a-friend just may be your ideal buyer.
Make the Most of Showings/Open Houses
When it’s time to show your home, whether it’s by appointment or an open house, it’s time to make yourself scarce. Your real estate agent is a pro and can field any questions potential buyers have, and your anxious presence or added comments will only add an element of pressure and awkwardness that could discourage buyers from really seeing all your home has to offer.
Go grab yourself a coffee, unwind after all the hard work you’ve put in, and let your agent handle this; that’s what they’re there for.
Perform Expert Negotiations
While real estate agents are important allies at all phases of a home sale, negotiations are the time when you’ll likely be the most grateful for their advice. You’ve put a lot of time and effort into turning your income property into a winner, and it can be hard to distance yourself from that and respond to offers and counter-offers in a way that protects your interests without alienating potential buyers.
Talk to your agent, mentors, and mastermind groups. Listen to their recommendations and trust that they’ve seen it all before and know when to counter, when to hold firm and when to say, “We’d be happy to accept your offer.”
What tips have helped you sell your properties fast?
Let me know with a comment!