Friday, November 22, 2013

Should You Fix Up a Home Before Selling It?

This article originally comes from, and was written by Jack Guttentag. You can find the original here.

Recently I put my home up for sale, and because it needed a new roof, deck, and septic system, came face to face with this question. This article is based heavily on that experience, in which I made a serious mistake that other sellers can avoid.

It is easier to sell a house that is attractive to potential buyers, which means that you spend a little time and money on cosmetics. This is partly just a matter of making sure the house is clean, the yard is neat, the driveway is swept, bushes pruned and so on. Easily fixed structural defects, like a loose shingle, should be fixed.

Houses almost always look better when furnished than when empty — and they also look larger. If you are moving to another residence and plan to take your furnishings with you, try to arrange to show the house before you move out of it.

But if your house also has structural defects that are costly to fix, as mine did, the challenge is in deciding whether or not to fix them before sale.

Every house has defects, some obvious and others hidden. Both types will affect the price a buyer is willing to pay. It is a mistake to think that a potential buyer will assume that the only defects that exist are those that are visible.

So what should you do? Click here to read the rest of the article and find out a few recommendations.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Home Sales in Chattanooga are Looking Good

This article originally appeared in the Chattanooga Times Free Press. You can find it here.
It's shaping up to be a solid year for the housing market, as home sales and new housing starts rose across the board in September.
Sales of existing homes in September rose 19 percent over the year to 615 homes sold across the Chattanooga area, as homeowners rushed to put nearly 1,000 new homes on the market during the period, according to the Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors.
Home starts year to date are up 12.4 percent to 1,178, including 760 new homes started in Hamilton County and 224 in Bradley County so far this year, according to research firm The Market Edge.
But though unit sales are promising, the recovery has yet to hit the high end of the market. Big homes, defined as those with more than 4,000 square feet or costing more than $400,000, are actually lagging 2012's numbers, with only 30 permits for large homes secured so far this year.
Builders aren't the only ones feeling the squeeze. Realtors say the median sales price in the Chattanooga area squeaked down 1.7 percent to $137,000. But buyers seemed to like the lower prices, as the number of days a home stood on the market decreased
2.5 percent to an average of 119 days, and the months of housing inventory decreased 6.3 percent to nine months, or about 5,173 homes for sale.
Mark Blazek, president of the Realtors association, said the combination of new home sales and buyers looking to downsize are driving the home sales surge.
"Some baby boomers are ready to look for less space, nudging Junior out of the basement," Blazek said. "The pizza boxes and late-night video games get old, plus there's a fresh crop of buyers looking for a bigger space to raise their own little darlings."