Stephanie Lundy

Everything You Need to Know About iBuyers and the “Instant Cash Offer”

Technology is changing the way we do almost everything, and real estate transactions are no exception. In fact, a new crop of tech companies wants to revolutionize the way we buy and sell homes.

 

iBuyer startups like Opendoor, Offerpad, and Properly are rapidly expanding into new territories, and now established players, like Zillow, are starting to get in on the action. Also known as Direct Buyers, these companies use computer algorithms to provide sellers with a quick cash offer to buy their home.

 

While the actual market share of iBuyers remains small, their big advertising budgets have helped create a noticeable buzz in the industry. This has left many of our clients curious about them and how they work.  And although we have not seen these companies doing business in the North of Boston market (YET!) we know it could be just around the corner and want all of our clients to understand how this could affect them.

 

In this article, we explain their business model, weigh the pros and cons of working with an iBuyer, and share strategies you can use to protect yourself if you choose to explore this new option to buy or sell your home.

 

 

FIRST, HOW DOES THE iBUYER PROCESS WORK?

 

While each company operates a little differently, the basic premise is the same. A seller (or seller’s agent) completes a brief online form that asks questions about the size, features, and condition of the property. Some also request digital photos of the home.

 

The iBuyer will use this information to determine whether or not the home fits within their “buy box,” which is a set of criteria that matches their investment model. They are generally looking for houses they can easily value and “flip.” In most cases, their ideal property is a moderately priced, single-family home located in a neighborhood with many similar houses. The property shouldn’t require any major renovations before listing.1 These qualities make it easier to assess value (lots of comparable sales data) and help to reduce risk and minimize carrying costs.

 

Once the iBuyer has used their algorithm to determine the amount they are willing to pay, they will email an offer to the seller, usually within a few days. The offer should also disclose the company’s service fee, which is typically between 7% and 12% of the purchase price.2

 

If the seller accepts, an in-person visit and inspection are scheduled. The iBuyer will ask for a reduction in price to cover any defects they find during the process. Once the sale closes, they will make the necessary updates and repairs and then resell the home on the open market.

 

 

WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF SELLING TO AN iBUYER?

 

Of course, the biggest benefit of selling your home to an iBuyer is convenience. For some homeowners, the stress and disruption of preparing and listing their home can feel overwhelming. And what busy family with kids and pets wouldn’t want to skip the hassle of keeping their house “show ready” for potential buyers? Additionally, many sellers like the predictability of a cash buyer and the flexibility to choose their closing date.

 

However, this added convenience does come at a cost. Do not forget that an iBuyer is an investor looking to make a profit. So their purchase offer is usually below true market value. When you tack on service fees of up to 12% and deductions for updates and repairs, studies show that sellers who work with iBuyers net a lower amount than those that list the traditional way.3

 

In fact, a MarketWatch investigation found that transactions involving iBuyers net the seller 11% less than if they would have sold their home with an agent on the open market.2

And that is a lot of money!

 

WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF BUYING FROM AN iBUYER?

 

Buying a home from an iBuyer is a lot like buying a home from any investor. The pros are that it’s usually clean, neutral, and moderately updated. You’ll often find fresh paint and modern finishes. And because it’s uninhabited (no one is living there), you don’t have to work around a seller’s schedule to see the home.

 

However, there are some pitfalls to avoid when working with iBuyers. Speed is of the essence, so sometimes the renovations are rushed and the quality can suffer. Also, their investment margins don’t leave much room for negotiating a price reduction or additional repairs. That leaves buyers —who have already invested hundreds of dollars in an inspection—little recourse if any issues are uncovered.4

 

That’s one of the reasons we always recommend viewing properties with an agent. During your visit, a real estate professional can point out any “red flags” at the home, provide background information about the neighborhood, and help you assess its true market value. That way, you don’t invest time and money in a high-risk or overpriced property. Safety is also a concern. Some companies allow buyers to access their homes via a smartphone app. While it may seem convenient, it provides an easy way for squatters and others to enter the home illegally.5

 

Luckily, since most iBuyers (and traditional sellers) pay a buyer agent’s commission, you can benefit from the guidance and expertise of a real estate professional … at no cost to you!

 

 

HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF IF I CHOOSE TO WORK WITH AN iBUYER?

 

While it may seem like the “quick and easy” way to go, working with an iBuyer can present some unique challenges. For example, they are notorious for presenting a strong initial purchase offer and then whittling it down with a long list of costly updates and repairs once they complete their inspection.2 And unlike a traditional buyer who is incentivized to make a deal work, iBuyers can easily walk away if you don’t meet their demands.

 

Just like you wouldn’t go to court without a lawyer, you shouldn’t enter into a real estate transaction without an advocate to represent you. Having a professional agent on your side can be especially important when negotiating with an iBuyer. Remember, they employ sophisticated representatives and a team of lawyers who are focused on maximizing their profits, not yours. You need someone in your corner who has the skills and knowledge to ensure you get a fair deal and who understands the terms of their contracts, so you don’t encounter any unpleasant surprises along the way.

 

Overall, we think the emergence of new technology that helps to streamline the real estate process is exciting. And if we believe a client can benefit from working with an iBuyer, we present it as an option. But there is—inevitably—a cost to the convenience. After all, most iBuyers eventually list the properties they acquire on the open market, which is still the best place to find a buyer if you want to maximize the sales price of your home.  If you have any questions please call one of your trusted hometown realtors at Farrelly Realty Group.  We are here to help you determine the best path for you in your real estate transaction.  We live, work and play in the same area as you and make it our priority to keep your best interests at heart!

 

Sources:

  1. The Dallas Morning News -
    https://www.dallasnews.com/business/real-estate/2019/07/11/so-called-ibuyer-real-estate-firms-pitch-programs-to-buy-your-house-help-you-hunt-for-another/
  2. MarketWatch -
    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/selling-your-home-to-an-ibuyer-could-cost-you-thousands-heres-why-2019-06-11
  3. Forbes -
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/alyyale/2019/08/16/study-shows-ibuyers-cost-home-sellers-thousands-is-convenience-worth-the-price/#697ac0c42269
  4. US News & World Report -
    https://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/articles/what-to-expect-when-buying-a-home-from-an-ibuyer
  5. Inman -
    https://www.inman.com/2019/09/11/police-arrest-couple-found-squatting-in-opendoor-home-with-their-kids/

    Comments

    1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

    5 Step Strategy for Downsizing Your Home

    In our “bigger is better” culture, there’s an expectation that each home should be larger and grander than the last. But life changes like divorce, kids leaving for college, or even the simple act of growing older can prompt us to find a smaller home that better suits our shifting needs and lifestyle.

     

    In fact, the advantages of downsizing are being increasingly recognized. A “tiny house movement” has gained passionate advocates who appreciate the benefits of living simply at any age and stage of life. Not only does a smaller home typically cost less, it also takes less time and effort to maintain.1

     

    Whatever your reasons are for downsizing, the process can seem overwhelming. That’s why we’ve outlined five steps to guide you on your journey. And in the end, we hope you’ll find that less is more … more comfort, more security, and more time and energy to spend on the activities and the people that you love.  

     

     

    5 STEPS TO DOWNSIZING SUCCESS

     

    1. Determine Your Goals and Limitations

    The first step is to figure out your goals for your new living environment. Do you want to live closer to family? Are you hoping to cut down on home maintenance? Are you looking for a community with certain amenities?

     

    You should also consider any limitations that will impact the home you choose. For example, are stairs an issue? Do you need access to medical care? In the case of divorce, are there child-custody issues you need to take into account?

     

    Estimate how long you plan to stay in your new home. Do you expect your needs to change during that time?

     

    Make a “wish list” of features and prioritize them from most to least important. If you’d like any assistance with this process, give us a call! We’d be happy to sit down with you for a free consultation. We can also help you assess the value of your current home so you can set a realistic budget for your new one.

     

    2. Find the Perfect New Home

    Once you’ve established your “wish list,” we can begin the search for your new home. As local North of Boston market experts, we know the ins and outs of all the top communities in our area. We can help you determine the neighborhood and type of home that will best fit your wants and needs.

     

    From family neighborhoods to retirement communities, we serve clients in all stages of life. If you or a loved one are in need of extended support, we can also share our knowledge of the assisted living facilities in town and help you identify those that offer the optimal level of care.

     

    Are you planning to relocate out of town? We can refer you to a trusted real estate professional in your target area who can help you with your search.

     

    3. Sell Your Current Home

    If you’re ready to sell your current home, we’ll begin the process of preparing to list it as we search for your new one.

     

    We have a special interest in helping homeowners who are facing major life transitions, and we offer a full-service real estate experience that aims to remove as much of the stress and hassle of selling your home as possible. We also understand that many of our clients choose to downsize for financial reasons, so we employ tactics and strategies to maximize the potential sales revenue of your home.

     

    We do this by employing our proven three-part approach, which focuses on optimum preparation, pricing, and promotion. As part of that plan, we invest in an aggressive marketing strategy that utilizes online and social media platforms to connect with consumers and offline channels to connect with local real estate agents. This ensures your property gets maximum exposure to prospective buyers.

     

    4. Sort and Pack Your Belongings

    Even before you find your new home, you can begin preparing for your move. A smaller home means less space for your furniture and other possessions, so you will need to decide what to keep and what to sell or donate. Sorting through an entire house full of belongings will take time, so begin as early as possible.

     

    Parting with personal possessions can be an extremely emotional process. Start with a small, unemotional space like a laundry or powder room and work your way up to larger rooms. Focus on eliminating duplicates and anything you don’t regularly use. If you have sentimental pieces, family heirlooms, or just useful items you no longer need, think about who in your life would benefit from having them. For large collections, consider keeping one or two favorite pieces and photographing the rest to put in an album.2

     

    Make sure the items you keep help you achieve the goals you outlined in Step 1. For example, if you want a home that’s easier to clean, cut down on knickknacks that require frequent dusting. If you’re moving to be closer to your grandchildren, choose the shatterproof plates over the antique china.

     

    Allow yourself time to take breaks if you start to feel overwhelmed. If you’re helping a loved one with a move, try to be a patient listener if they want to stop and share stories about particular items or memories throughout the process.3 This can be therapeutic for them and an opportunity for you to learn family history that may otherwise have been forgotten.

     

    5. Get Help When You Need It

    Moving is stressful in any situation. But if you’re downsizing due to health issues or a major life change, it can be an especially tough transition. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

     

    Seek out friends and family members who can assist with packing and decluttering. If that’s not an option, or if you need additional help, consider hiring a home organizer, full-service moving company, or even a senior move manager, which is a professional who assists older adults and their families with the physical and emotional aspects of relocation.4 You can find one accredited by the National Association of Senior Move Managers at https://www.nasmm.org/find/index.cfm.

     

    If financial constraints are holding back, let us know. We can help you explore the possibility of tapping into the equity in your current home now. That way you can afford to get the assistance you need to make your transition as smooth as possible. We work with many experts in the mortgage field that can help provide guidance.

     

     

     

     

    Please visit our website http://bit.ly/FRGPreferredVendors to find the contact information for all the local area experts we recommend!.

     

    Answer this question- ARE YOU LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE?

    If your current home no longer suits your needs, maybe it’s time to consider a change. We would love to help you explore your options. Contact us today at Farrelly Realty Group (978)664-3700 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and begin the process of Living your best life!

     

    Sources:

    1. The Tiny Life -
      https://thetinylife.com/what-is-the-tiny-house-movement/
    2. My Move -
      https://www.mymove.com/moving/senior-guide-downsizing/
    3. Daily Caring -
      https://dailycaring.com/5-tips-to-downsizing-for-seniors-keepsakes-mementos/
    4. National Association of Senior Move Managers -
      https://www.nasmm.org

    Will Your Remodel Pay Off? The Best (and Worst) Ways to Spend Your Budget

     

    Most new homeowners have something about their property that they want to change. And as family needs and design trends shift over time, many will eventually choose to remodel. Some homeowners make updates to their property before listing it to maximize their potential sales revenue.

     

    Whatever your reasons are for taking on a home improvement project, it’s wise to consider how the money you invest will impact your home’s value.

     

    We’ve taken a look at six popular home renovations and identified those that—on average—have the best and worst returns on investment. So before you lift a hammer or hire a contractor, take a look at this list and see if your remodeling efforts will reward you when it comes time to sell.

     

     

    RENOVATIONS THAT PAY OFF

     

    These three common home improvement projects not only add function and style to your home, but they also offer a strong return on investment. Making strategic upgrades to your property will help you increase its value over time.

     

    Minor Kitchen Remodel

    The kitchen is often referred to as the “heart of the home,” and for good reason. Traditionally used for preparing food, it has morphed into so much more. Many of us now eat our family meals in the kitchen, it serves as a favorite spot for homework and kids’ art projects, and it’s the place guests tend to gather when we host events.

     

    Because we spend so much time in our kitchens, it’s natural that we will eventually want to make updates and upgrades to better suit our needs and changing style preferences.

     

    Luckily, a minor kitchen remodel is one of the best investments you can make in your home. According to Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report, it has an average 80.5% return on investment.1

     

    The key to making a kitchen remodel pay off is to keep it modest in scale. Spend too much on custom or high-end selections, and you are less likely to recoup your investment. Instead, make an effort to keep your existing layout if it works for you and your family. Paint or reface cabinets instead of replacing them. Update countertops with low-maintenance quartz and swap out old light fixtures with modern alternatives. Replace outdated appliances with energy-efficient models. The average cost for a minor kitchen remodel is $22,500, and it’s likely to recoup more than $18,000 at resale.1

     

    Wood Deck Addition

    A deck addition is a popular way to extend and enhance the use of your outdoor space. It’s the perfect spot for grilling, dining alfresco, and entertaining. In fact, 81% of surveyed homeowners said they have a greater desire to be home since completing a deck addition.2

     

    For a 16 x 20-foot wood deck, you can expect to spend around $13,000. Fortunately, the money you invest offers an average return of 76%.1

     

    Decks made of composite material are a popular alternative these days, as they don’t require the regular sanding and staining that wood decks need. However, at an average cost of $19,000 for a 16 x 20-foot composite deck, they are significantly more expensive. Plus, the expected return on investment is only 69%.1 Still, if you plan to hire someone to provide regular maintenance to a wood deck, then a composite deck may offer cost savings over time.

     

     

    Siding Replacement

    Everyone knows good curb appeal is important when selling your home. And while it may not be the most exciting way to spend your remodeling budget, new siding can make a big impression on buyers … and your selling price.

     

    Your home’s exterior is one of the first things buyers see when they view your home. It sets the tone for what they are going to see inside. It also gives an impression of how well the property has been maintained. Worn, peeling, or rotted siding can be a major red flag for buyers.

     

    Replacing 1,250 square feet of siding costs around $16,000 and will net you an average of 76% at resale.1

     

    For an even greater impact, consider replacing a portion of your siding with manufactured stone veneer. It can have a dramatic effect on the visual appeal of your home. A 300 square foot area will run you around $8,900, but you can expect to see a nearly 95% return when it comes time to sell.1

     

     

    RENOVATIONS WITH WEAK RETURNS

     

    These three popular remodeling projects are homeowner favorites. However, don’t expect to see a high rate of return at resale. Instead, consider them an investment in your current quality of life. Just make sure you’ll be living in the home long enough to make them worthwhile.

     

    Major Kitchen Remodel

    If there’s one room the majority of homeowners dream about making over, it’s their kitchen. From custom cabinetry to high-end appliances, the possibilities are endless. But those dreams can come at a cost.

     

    An upscale kitchen remodel with high-end cabinetry and countertops, commercial-grade appliances, and designer features can cost upwards of $130,000. And unfortunately, you’ll only get back around 60% at resale. Even a mid-range kitchen remodel that includes new semi-custom wood cabinets, laminate countertops, and energy-efficient appliances could run you around $66,000 and net you a mere 62% at resale.1

     

    Of course, an outdated or non-functional kitchen could turn buyers off from your home completely …  and keep you from enjoying it yourself! So if your kitchen needs a major remodel, you shouldn’t necessarily scrap your plans. Just go in with the realization that you may only get back a fraction of what you invest. Then you can decide which upgrades are worth the splurge.

     

    In-ground Pool         

    Few additions deliver more entertainment or enjoyment than an in-ground pool. It brings families and friends together, provides a break from the summer heat, and offers a fun and convenient way to stay fit. Plus, you’ll be the envy of your neighbors! But before you dive into a pool addition, consider whether the benefits outweigh the (substantial) costs.

     

    The average expense to install a standard 18 x 36-foot in-ground pool is $57,500. And the estimated return at resale is only or 43%.2 In addition to the installation cost, plan to spend money each year on maintenance, repairs, and additional insurance.

     

    However, 92% of surveyed homeowners said they “have a greater desire to be home” since installing a pool, and 83% have “an increased sense of enjoyment when they are at home.” For you and your family, the perks of a pool may be priceless.2

     

    Master Suite Addition

    If you own a house built before the 1980s, there’s a good chance it lacks a master suite, which is a feature that has become commonplace in most newly constructed homes.3

     

    Master bedrooms have evolved from a simple place to sleep into a homeowner’s retreat—often featuring a sitting area, his-and-hers walk-in closets, and an attached bathroom with double vanities, a soaking tub, and a walk-in shower.

     

    And master suite additions have become increasingly popular—both in homes that lack one as well as those with aging owners who can no longer accommodate stairs to an upper-level bedroom.

     

    But what’s the typical return at resale? Unfortunately, a master suite addition offers one of the lowest returns of any remodeling project. With a median cost of $125,000, most sellers will only recoup around 52% of their investment. Nevertheless, in a survey of homeowners, the majority were satisfied with their decision to add a master suite, giving it a “Joy Score” of 10 out of 10.4

     

     

    WEIGHING COST VS. BENEFIT

     

    It’s always wise to enter into a remodeling project with knowledge of how it will impact your home’s value. In most cases, upscale or highly-customized upgrades are less likely to offer a high rate of return. That said, home renovations that improve your quality of life and enhance your enjoyment may be worthwhile no matter the cost.

     

     

    GET A CUSTOMIZED ANALYSIS OF YOUR PROJECT FROM FARRELLY REALTY GROUP

     

    We’ve been talking averages. But the truth is, the actual return you can expect on a home improvement project will vary depending on your particular home and neighborhood. If you have plans to remodel, call or send us the details. We’d be happy to conduct a free analysis to determine how the renovations will impact the value of your home or put you in touch with our many vendors to help tackle your upcoming projects! Call us at (978)664-3700.

     

     

    Sources:

    1. 2019 Cost vs. Value Report -
      https://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2019/
    2. NAR’ Remodeling Impact Report - https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/2018-05-remodeling-impact-outdoor-features-05-23-2018.pdf
    3. Zillow -
      https://www.zillow.com/blog/evolution-of-the-master-bedroom-48286/
    4. House Logic -
      https://www.houselogic.com/by-room/bedroom-closet/master-suite-addition-return-investment/

    Serious About Selling? 5 Steps to Make Your Home the best on the Block

     5 Steps to Make Your Home
    the Best on the Block

     

     

    We all want to be good neighbors. But when it comes to selling your home, it’s not just about “keeping up with the Joneses.” It’s about outshining them at every opportunity!

     

    If you’re looking to sell your home fast and for the most money possible, you’ll need a strategy to set it apart from all the other listings competing for buyers in your area. That’s why we’ve outlined our proven, five-step plan for serious sellers.

     

    Use these five tactics to help your listing get noticed, win over buyers, and net a higher sales price than your neighbors!

     

     

    STEP 1: Stage Your Home to Show Its Full Potential

     

    The average seller will do the minimum to prepare their home for market: clean and declutter, fix anything that’s broken, mow the lawn. And while those tasks are essential, today’s buyers want more than just a clean house and tidy yard. When they dream of buying a new home, they envision a designer house with modern finishes. Help them see your property’s full potential by staging it.

     

    Home staging is one of the hottest trends in real estate—because it works! According to the Real Estate Staging Association, homes that are professionally staged spend 73% less time on the market.1

     

    So what exactly is staging? In a broad sense, staging is the act of preparing your home for market. The goal is to highlight your home’s strengths, minimize any deficiencies, and help buyers envision themselves living in the space. When staging a home, you might rearrange the furniture to make a room feel larger or remove heavy curtains to make it appear brighter.

     

    Some sellers choose to hire a professional home stager, who has specialized training and experience, to maximize the appeal of their home to the largest number of potential buyers. Others may opt to do it themselves, using guidance from their agent.

     

    We can help you determine the appropriate budget and effort required to push your home ahead of the competition in your neighborhood. The good news is, an investment in staging pays off. A 2018 survey found that 85% of staged homes sold for 6-25% more than their unstaged neighbors homes.2

     

     

    STEP 2: Draw Buyers in with High-Quality Listing Photos

     

    You only have one chance to make a first impression with potential buyers. And many buyers will view photos of a listing before they decide whether or not to visit it in person. In fact, 87% of buyers find photos “very useful” in their home search.3 Poor-quality or amateur-looking listing photos could keep buyers from ever stepping through your door.

     

    Since good photography plays such an important role in getting your property noticed, we only work with the top local professionals to photograph our listings. But we don’t just rely on their photography skills when it comes to showcasing your home.

     

    We go the extra mile to ensure your listing photos showcase the true essence of your home. We’re always on site during the photo shoot to help the photographer capture the best angles and lighting, and to let them know about unique or compelling selling features that they should photograph. The extra effort pays off in the end. In fact, listings with high-quality photography sell 32% faster than the competition … and often for more money!4

     

     

    STEP 3: Price It Properly From the Start

     

    This is a Farrelly Realty MUST! All of our listings are encouraged to price right from the moment their home comes on the market.  Even in a strong real estate market, there are homes that will sit unsold for months on end. This can be the “kiss of death” in real estate, as buyers tend to imagine that there must be something wrong with the property, even if it’s not the case.

     

    But why are those houses still on the market in the first place? It’s because they are often priced too high.

     

    Every buyer has a budget. And most will be viewing listings within a particular price range. If your property is overpriced, it can’t properly compete with the other houses they’re viewing that are priced correctly. Which means it’ll sit on the market until you’re eventually forced to drop the price.

     

    Alternatively, if you price your home aggressively, it can be among the nicest homes that buyers have seen within their budget. This can lead to emotionally-attached buyers, who are often willing to pay a premium or settle for fewer seller concessions. And in certain markets, it can lead to a multiple-offer situation, or bidding war. The end result? More money in your pocket.

     

    We can help you determine what that ideal listing price is for your home in the current market. Pricing it properly in the beginning is the best way to ensure a fast and profitable sale.

     

     

    STEP 4: Put on a Good Show at Each Showing

     

    Once buyers are interested enough to schedule a visit, it’s crucial that you put on a good show at each showing.

     

    The first step is to make your home readily available—and often on short notice—for buyers to see it. A missed showing is a missed opportunity to sell your home. If you set too many restrictions on when it’s available to view, busy buyers will simply skip over your listing and move on to the next one. Our agents go above and beyond for their clients and because we work as a team there is ALWAYS an FRG agent available!

     

    Part of making your home available means keeping it relatively show-ready as long as it’s on the market. Most of us don’t live picture-perfect lives, and our homes reflect the day-to-day reality of our busy (and sometimes messy) families. But a little extra effort spent keeping your home clean, fresh-smelling, and ready for buyers will help it sell faster … which means you can get back to your regular routine as quickly as possible!

     

     

    STEP 5: Use a Proven Promotion Plan

     

    Most agents are still marketing their listings like they did 20 years ago  … put a sign in the yard, put the listing in the MLS, and pray that it sells. Yet, we know that 93% of buyers search for real estate listings online.3

     

    That’s why we invest in the latest training and technology—to ensure your listing appears in the places where buyers are most likely to look. Our dual-level promotion strategy includes both pre-launch activities designed to seed the marketplace and post-listing activities to ensure your home stays top-of-mind with potential buyers.

     

    By utilizing online and social marketing platforms to connect with consumers and offline channels to connect with local real estate agents, your property gets maximum exposure to prospective buyers. Our contacts are your contacts!

     

     

    LET’S GET MOVING

     

    Are you thinking about listing your home? Get a head start on your competition! Or call us to schedule a free no-commitment consultation. We’d love to put together a custom plan to maximize the sales potential of your property!

     

     

    Sources:

    1. Real Estate Staging Association - https://www.realestatestagingassociation.com/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=304550&module_id=164548
    2. Home Staging Resources -
      https://www.homestagingresources.com/2018-home-staging-statistics/
    3. National Association of Realtors -
      https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/2018-real-estate-in-a-digital-world-12-12-2018.pdf
    4. RIS Media -
      https://rismedia.com/2018/12/12/shocking-stats-importance-photography-real-estate/

     

     

    Top 6 Home Organization Upgrades that “Spark Joy” for Buyers and Improve your Property Value

    The hit Netflix series “Tidying Up,” has made home organization a hot topic right now.  At Farrelly Realty Group we see an actual link between the hot topics inspired by these tv shows and what actual buyers in our market expect to see in the homes for sale.  It makes a difference! The "Tidying Up" host, Marie Kondo, encourages her viewers to minimize their possessions and keep only those items that “spark joy"  just as the Farrelly Realty agents advise their clients on the items that "spark joy" for the buyers in the market.

    With spring in full bloom (finnally!), now is the perfect time to do some spring cleaning and add organizational systems to your own home. Not only will you clear out clutter, your efforts can actually increase the value of your home.

    Ready to give it a try? Here are six home organization ideas that will “spark joy” for you, your property value and potential buyers if you are looking to sell.

    Boost Bathroom Storage Capacity

    When was the last time you cleaned out your bathroom cupboards? If it’s been awhile, remove everything and take a look at each item. Toss any old or expired products—keep only what you actually use.

    If your vanity has drawers, add drawer organizers, so you have a dedicated space for smaller items, like makeup and jewelry. For deep cabinets, install roll-out shelves or baskets to maximize the use of space.And don’t forget about the walls! Mount open shelves to store towels. If you’re short on storage space, a cabinet over the toilet can offer additional room for supplies. These inexpensive additions can make your morning routine a little easier while giving your bathroom a more custom feel. And on average, minor bathroom remodeling projects like these see a 102% return at resale.1

     

    Upgrade Your Laundry Room

    Sort through the items in your laundry room and throw away or donate anything you no longer need or use. If you’ve been holding onto a collection of old washcloths and single socks, it’s time to say goodbye. Then give your laundry room an upgrade with some customized organizational features.

    A mix of open cubbies and cabinets with doors will give you plenty of options for storing detergents and supplies. If you have space, a divided hamper or set of laundry baskets can provide a place to sort your clothes before washing. Install a hanging rod or drying rack for delicates and a flat work surface for ironing and folding clothes. With a few simple tweaks, you can turn this chore into a score!

    Fully Utilize Your Basement or Attic

    Basements and attics can easily become a dumping ground for clutter. If that’s the case in your home, you know what to do!

    Once you’ve conducted a thorough clean out, think about how you can better utilize the space to meet your family’s needs. Install cabinets and a table so you can use the area as a craft room. Or you could turn it into a game room with a media center and ping-pong table. Investing in your basement will not only add function for your family, but also the average basement remodel can see up to a 70% return on investment when it’s time to sell.2

    If you have an attic, consider adding a cedar closet to store your off-season clothing. The cedar lining will keep your clothes free from moths and smelling fresh year round.3 Turning your attic into a more usable space will pay off down the road, too. A finished attic sees an estimated 60% return on investment.2  

    Customize Your Closets

    Cleaning out the closet is a chore most of us dread, but by now, you’re a pro! Get rid the clothes and shoes that don’t fit you, are uncomfortable to wear, or that no longer “spark joy.”

    Then it’s organizing time. So where do you start? You’ll want to create a designated space for each type of clothing: high hanging rods for dresses and long jackets, lower rods for skirts and shirts, and shelves for folded items like jeans. And accessories need a place to go, too. Add racks for your shoes, drawers for jewelry, hooks for hats, and shelves or racks for handbags.

    A well-equipped closet can be a major draw for buyers—the average return on a closet remodel is 57%.4 But more importantly, it’ll improve your day-to-day life. Surveyed homeowners gave their closet remodel a “Joy Score” of 10 out of 10, higher than kitchen or bath upgrades.5

    Install Built-in Bookcases and Cabinets

    Built-in furniture adds functionality and storage to a room while giving your home a high-end look. Built-in bookcases can turn an empty room into an office. Custom cabinets can be used in a living room to display media equipment while providing hidden storage for DVDs, board games, and family albums.

    When designing any built-in feature, remember not to go too custom. A design that only fits your tastes or belongings could turn off future buyers. Instead, select standard sizes and classic finishes to appeal to a broad range of buyers when it comes time to sell.

    Equip Your Garage

    If you can no longer fit your car in your garage, it may be time for a clean out. Similar to an attic or basement, the garage can quickly become overrun with clutter. A thorough cleaning will help you assess which items are worth keeping.

    When adding organizational systems your garage, start with a small rack to store yard tools and larger racks for bikes and sports equipment. Overhead racks are a great place to put seasonal items and bulky luggage. A workbench against a wall lined with pegboard and hooks creates a dedicated space to use and store tools. If you have children or pets, add a cabinet with a lock. This will give you a place to securely store harsh chemicals and sharp tools. With a little effort, you’ll be pulling in your car (and buyers) in no time!

    SPRING INTO ACTION

    If you’re searching for service providers to help with your spring cleaning or home organization efforts, let us know! We can connect you with our trusted network of local home improvement professionals.  In addition to the WHO to hire there is the COST of these upgrades and renovations to consider.  Should you use a credit card or your home's equity?  One in three homeowners use at least one credit card to fund home renovations, typically in combination with other forms of payment.  Creditcard.com has created a comprehensive guide to help homeowners compare the funding options that may be at their disposal, such as home equity loans or HELOCs.  Their guide breaks down the pros and cons of using these options in comparison to a credit card to help readers more easily finance home renovations. 

    Before you start any home project call us to help you determine which organizational upgrades or renovations will add the most value to your home!!   Call an FRG agent today (978)664-3700, we can help!

     

     

    Sources:

     

    1. HGTV -
      https://www.hgtv.com/design/real-estate/top-home-updates-that-pay-off-pictures
    2. Nationwide -
      https://blog.nationwide.com/valuable-home-improvements/
    3. HGTV -
      https://www.hgtv.com/remodel/interior-remodel/maximum-home-value-storage-projects--attic
    4. The Closet Doctor - https://www.closet-doctor.com/news/what-is-the-return-on-investment-on-closet-organizers
    5. NAR Remodeling Impact Survey -
      https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/2017-remodeling-impact-09-28-2017.pdf