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10 Things You Can Do If You Can’t Sell Your House

10 Things You Can Do If You Can’t Sell Your House

The average home spends 89 days on the market before it sells. This means it isn’t uncommon for sellers to have their house listed for at least three months.

However, some housing markets are much hotter. For example, a home in Seattle spends only 20 days on the market on average.

If you are trying to sell your house and you aren’t getting any offers, then it’s possible you just need to give it more time. However, if you’ve crossed the average or you’re in a hurry to offload your property, there are things you can do to make it a more attractive option for buyers.

1. Lower the Price

Often, if a house won’t sell, it’s probably overpriced for the current market. Homeowners often have emotional attachments to their property, making them feel it’s worth more than its actual value.

If your property has sat on the market for more than the average in your area, then consider reducing the price. This should increase the number of potential buyers and may lead to a sale.

You can use the same approach if you simply need to sell quickly too. If you list slightly below the fair market value, you may find a buyer faster.

If you need to see what your home is genuinely worth, speak with a local real estate agent. You can also do some research online to find out the value of your property.

2. Make Repairs

When a property is obviously damaged, buyers won’t be as interested. If there are repairs that need to be made, including everything from dripping faucets to a roof replacement, consider investing.

Most homebuyers aren’t looking for a major project. They want to purchase a home and be able to move right in and start their new lives.

By getting your home in tip-top shape, it’s a more attractive option for home shoppers.

3. Consider Upgrades

Similarly, certain improvements increase your home’s value and may entice buyers to make an offer.

For example, updating your attic insulation can be an easy update to accomplish and has a return on investment of approximately 117 percent.

Replacing your siding can also be beneficial. Not only does it up your curb appeal, but it also functions as a selling point.

If your kitchen appliances look like something from the last millennia, then that’s an upgrade you should also consider.

4. Try Neutral Colors

If your home is full of brightly-colored walls, then repainting them may be a necessity. Strong colors are polarizing, and not everyone will love your choices.

Instead of leaving the color, shift to a neutral. A light gray or beige can make your home seem like a clean slate. Even better, go for a classic white.

5. Remove Clutter

Buyers want to find a home that feels spacious regardless of its size. If your rooms, shelves, or surfaces are overcome with clutter, the space will feel smaller and disheveled.

Before you list your home, take time to declutter. Pack up as many items as possible, leaving only those that truly highlight how a space is meant to function.

For example, you can put away your small kitchen appliances to make the counters seem spacious. If you have a fireplace mantel, remove everything but one to three small items, like vases.

6. Reconsider the Staging

While leaving your home completely empty may seem wise for showcasing space, most realtors will have you include furnishings — even if they’re not your own.

By adding staging furniture — or upgrading any that’s already in the space — you can demonstrate a room’s function. Plus, you can prove what the space will hold.

For example, having a queen- or king-sized bed in the master bedroom shows that it will fit.

As with the wall color, you want to keep things neutral. Just use the furniture to define the spaces and give people an idea of what their lives could look like if they buy.

7. Depersonalize

Most homeowners fill their houses with photos of family, name signs, and various other items to personalize the space. But items like family photos make it hard for buyers to image the property as their home. In fact, they may feel like they are invading your privacy.

If you’re having trouble selling your home, make sure to depersonalize the spaces. Take down photos featuring people, remove any artwork with names, and consider hiding hobby items away.

8. Check the Title

An issue with the title could stop buyers in their tracks. For example, a lien against the property may seem like a red flag or an improperly recorded deed can create headaches.

If you haven’t checked the title, it’s wise to take a look. That way, if there’s an issue, you can remedy it quickly.

9. Mind the Smell

Pet odors, stale smoke, mildew, and other scents can be a turn off to buyers. If your home looks great but smells horrible, you probably won’t get many offers.

The solution varies depending on the cause of the odor. In some cases, a thorough cleaning and some scented candles will do the trick.

In others, such as with set-in smoke, more drastic measures may be necessary.

10. Get a New Agent

Sometimes, the problem isn’t the property; it’s the agent. If your realtor doesn’t seem to care or isn’t pleasant to deal with, he or she could be turning off buyers.

If everything else is in good shape, consider going with a different agent. Find someone with an upbeat and enthusiastic personality that isn’t overwhelming, and see if they can get better results.

If You Can’t Sell Your House

Hopefully, by following the tips above, you can increase your odds of selling your home.

Plus, you may even find that it’s easier to get higher bids, allowing you to move forward with more cash in your pocket.

Readers, have you ever had difficulty selling a home? Please tell us about your experiences by posting in the comments section beneath this post.

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Tips to Getting Access to Real Estate Data at a Small Price

Real Estate Data

Investors are always looking for better data sources to help them make better investment decisions. As more competitors seek to gain an advantage, analytics and big data are the next stage of profitable investing. For example, using mapping software you can quickly gain insights from useful data on demographics, territories, and more.

However, investors still want to get good value for their money. They want big data sources without paying a premium for the information. There are a few strategies they can take to get information at lower prices. There are now more free and low cost sources of information than ever before. Helpfully, they are all online as well. A lot of the expensive real estate investor software’s actually use data from the sources mentioned below.

  1. Use public sources

The best way to get data at a low price is to get information that the government makes freely available to all market participants. The government makes sales, foreclosures, bankruptcies and other market data publicly available at local municipal sources. Large companies like CBRE and Jones Lang LaSalle also publish free market reports analyzing trends and providing critical information. The US Census Bureau and Data.gov provide free federal data as well. These are now available in helpful, downloadable formats. They can be plugged into algorithms or charts to help make simple investment decisions.

  1. Free Google, Yahoo and Facebook data

Google, Yahoo and Facebook provide exquisite data free of charge. Investors around the world utilize these information sources to create large data sets and algorithms. Google Trends charts the volume of different search terms. This can give important indications into the popularity of certain products or services, as well as the main concerns that people are having. Similarly, the Facebook Graph is a publicly available tool that provides data on what users are liking and sharing. This gives important insights into purchasing decisions. Yahoo Finance provides a free source to download the movement of all stocks on a daily basis. The data can be easily exported into an Excel file where the investor can use VBA code to create sophisticated trading algorithms. For a fee, users can obtain data that is more frequent than daily opening and closing information.

  1. MLS

The MLS system is the key real estate system of realtors, buyers, sellers and investors. It is a public exchange where a large array of data is found with all of the listings for homes on the market. They provide data about closings and market trends in the region. Well-known websites such as Redfin and Zillow incorporate MLS data. In addition, virtually every realtor has access to the MLS listings so that they can assist their clients. Investors can gain access to this site and download data so that they can make their own investment decisions. The site provides several useful customized formats to download and utilize the data.

  1. Qlik

Qlik is a business intelligence company located in New York. The firm provides remarkable data sets for all types of businesses. The also acquired a website called Data Market which helped to broker useful data sets between buyers and sellers. Those large data sets can be immensely helpful to make important investment decisions, whether they are sales, tax, retail, agricultural, industrial or other types of data. Depending on the data set, these can be fairly inexpensive but can also be pricey. In any case, astute investors should be able to make a return on the money spent to acquire the data.

Overall, there are more and more ways to get big data at a very small price. Real estate investor software can help to analyze some of this information and produce investment decisions. At the very least, it can help investors gain better insights into the markets they are targeting. Big data is more important than ever and utilizing the necessary tools to extract value is becoming more important.

Photo: Flickr: Mr.TinDC

Ways to Save Money at the Convenience Store

7-11 convenience store

Convenience stores are named so for a reason: they’re located in a convenient spot and have carry many of the basics that people are looking for. Both chain stores and local convenience stores have their pros and cons, but unfortunately, one of the cons is price. While convenience stores are great to have nearby, sometimes they can become pricey.

Don’t Use Convenience Store ATMs

One of the best ways to save money at a convenience store is to not use their ATM. ATMs found in convenience stores are rarely bank ATMs, and are instead generic ones that charge you a high fee. Try and avoid using those ATMs unless it’s a dire situation.

Fountain Sodas

If you’re popping into a convenience store for a drink, considering buying a fountain soda instead of a bottle of soda. Fountain sodas at convenience stores are generally much cheaper and much larger than any bottled or canned drink you’ll buy. Some stores even have extra large drinks for as low as $1. You might not want to drink that entire soda, but if you’re concerned about money, go for the cheaper option. Sometimes the store even allows refills on fountain drinks for a discounted price.

Frequent Shopper Rewards

Many convenience stores offer frequent shopper rewards. For instance, stores such as CVS tally up how much money you’ve spent over the course of a year and reward you with coupons. Other stores offer you a free coffee after you’ve purchased five. Swiping a rewards card might be a hassle, but it can save you significant money at a later point. After all, isn’t it nice to know that you’ll be rewarded for continually shopping somewhere?

Convenience Store Coupons

A lot of local, non-chain convenience stores either don’t have coupons or don’t allow them. But more and more chain convenience stores such 7-11 are beginning to accept manufacturer’s coupons. As with most purchases, coupons are a great way to save money on your purchases. Some of these stores, as stated above, also offer their own coupons which is a great benefit as well!

Convenience Store Sales

Sometimes convenience stores are the best place to score a great deal. The day after a big holiday, for instance, they’ll mark down related merchandise by 50%. Sometimes they have too much stock and will have an impromptu sale in an effort to get rid of it and still make a profit.

Buy Store Convenience Store Brands

I’m sure you’ve heard pros and cons about buying store brand or name brand items, right? Well, you must know that the generic or store brand item is usually cheaper. This is true of chain convenience stores and sometimes even local convenience stores. For instance, 7-Eleven sells their own version of popular snacks which are priced about 20% cheaper than their name brand counterparts. The same is true of CVS who prices their generic brand aspirin, paper towels, and snack foods 30 to 40% cheaper.

Know Your Prices

Some convenience stores have great $1 sections where you can pick up a toothbrush or other small necessities. But most stores overprice their items compared to grocery stores or their direct competitors. It would be to your benefit to know how much more the convenience store charges compared to other stores. After all, you wouldn’t want to be paying $4 for a bag of chips that you could get for $1.50 elsewhere, right?

Photo: Flickr: waderockett