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5 Smells That Sell Houses

RisMedia - October 26, 2017 - 2:07pm

What’s that smell? The sense of smell is the strongest of all the senses to connect buyers to a home. While a bad smell can really deter buyers, a good smell can tempt buyers to a sale. From “green” scents to seasonal scents, discover the right smells for triggering positive emotions and home sales.

  1. Clean Smell
    Most of us associate “clean” with strongly scented cleaning products and disinfectants. It can even make buyers nostalgic. But remember, a little goes a long way. You should dilute your cleaning solutions so buyers don’t get overwhelmed.
  1. Citrus
    Using actual fruit is one way to get a clean smell without all the cleaning products. Lemon, orange and grapefruit scents are best. One great tip is to grind up lemon or orange rind with a few ice cubes in the garbage disposal. This will freshen up the kitchen, one of the most important rooms in the house.
  1. Natural Smell
    Sometimes the best scent is no scent at all. Try using “green” cleaning supplies, baking soda and other non-scented products that neutralize odors. The idea is that simpler is better, so you want to avoid complex, artificial smells from potpourri, sprays and plug-ins, which can actually distract buyers and turn them off.
  1. Baked Goods
    Nothing can make a house smell more like home than freshly baked goods, but be sure to stick to simple smells like vanilla, cinnamon and fresh bread. You don’t have to really bake anything. One trick is to boil some water and throw in a few cinnamon sticks an hour before a showing.
  1. Pine
    Don’t we all love that fresh pine scent? Especially with the holidays around the corner, it’s a great scent to greet buyers when they walk in the door. If you don’t want to put up a live tree, you can simply hang a wreath of tree trimmings or some fresh garland. You can’t go wrong with setting a holiday mood to inspire a sale.

There’s a lot that goes into the sale of a home. Make sure a great smell is at the top of the list. And to increase its value even more, add an American Home Shield® Home Warranty to every transaction.

For more articles like this, please visit the American Home Shield Blog at ahs.com/home-matters.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post 5 Smells That Sell Houses appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

All About Clean: Master Bathroom Trends

RisMedia Consumer News - October 26, 2017 - 2:05pm

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

Thumb through any home decor magazine, and you’ll see a master bathroom with a soaker or shower as the showpiece. Ta-da!

Homeowners, it turns out, are splurging to scrub up, according to the recently released U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study. Ninety-one percent of homeowners in the study added a spacious shower to their master bathroom (after tearing out the tub), and many added on deluxe features, like a body sprayer or rainfall showerhead, for an improved, spa-like space.

The average cost for a large-scale remodel of a master bath (sized over 100 square feet) was $21,000, shows the study. Master bath renovations cost more in pricey markets, however. In San Francisco, Calif., for example, a major remodel averages $34,100.

Accompanying a luxury shower is a soothing gray and white color palette, according to the study. Nineteen percent of homeowners installed white countertops in the master bath, and 40 percent painted its walls white. Fourteen percent added gray cabinets, as well, to complete the tone-on-tone look. The majority of homeowners (90 percent) changed the overall style of the room, some to contemporary (25 percent), some to transitional (17 percent), and some, still, to modern (15 percent).

As with other areas at home, homeowners are also integrating technology into their master baths. Atmospheric lighting, digital controls and smart toilets are all popular upgrades, shows the study.

Bathrooms—master bathrooms, especially—are key at resale. The 2017 Cost vs. Value Report by Remodeling magazine estimates the resale value of a “mid-range” bath renovation at $12,024 (a 64.8 percent return on investment), and the resale value of an “upscale” bath renovation at $35,456 (a 59.1 percent return on investment).

Beyond a master bath overhaul, another bathroom anywhere in the home can make homeowners happier with their house, a recent report by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) showed. A bathroom earned a perfect 10 “Joy Score” in the report.

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post All About Clean: Master Bathroom Trends appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

Vinyl Ranks No. 1 for New-Home Exteriors

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 25, 2017 - 11:00pm

See the most popular exterior siding choices based on region. 

Categories: Real Estate

4 Social Benefits of Homeownership

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 25, 2017 - 11:00pm

“Homeownership ... is the basis for a number of positive social, economic, family, and civic outcomes,” researchers note in a new...

Categories: Real Estate

New Zealand to Ban Foreign Buyers

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 25, 2017 - 11:00pm

Officials say the country’s housing stock is officially “no longer for sale” to nonresidents. 

Categories: Real Estate

Make Your Halloween Marketing a Scream

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 25, 2017 - 11:00pm

Some real estate pros are using Halloween to make their listings “spooktacular” for clients. 

Categories: Real Estate

Buying in the Fall Remains a Challenge

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 25, 2017 - 11:00pm

NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index drops to its lowest reading since 2015, as a shortage of lower-end homes continues to squeeze out...

Categories: Real Estate

7 Easiest Ways to Get Into Real Estate Investing Now

RisMedia - October 25, 2017 - 1:46pm

(TNS)—Only 15 percent of Americans are investing in real estate other than their primary residence, according to a real estate investing study by RealtyShares. In fact, two-thirds of Americans believe that investing in real estate is too difficult, too costly or beyond their capabilities. This might be true if they were considering commercial real estate investing, which can be a risky move for new investors, but there are safer options.

What Is Real Estate Investing?
Investing in real estate means buying property to earn income and build wealth, either on your own or with the help of real estate investment companies. Many investors own more than one property, and their earnings include rent paid by tenants and the equity they build through appreciation. Investment property owners have different tax considerations for their investment properties than they do for their primary residence.

Investing in real estate doesn’t have to be intimidating. Here are seven ways to start investing in real estate now:

Rental Properties
Buying rental property is one way to get started in real estate investing. Buying a rental property starts with choosing the right property, and then finding renters, maintaining the property, dealing with tenants and collecting rent each month.

One stumbling block might be locating an affordable property worth investing in.

“Traditional real estate investing is alive and well, although it’s largely dependent on geography,” says Aaron Milledge, founding partner and chief compliance officer of Targeted Wealth Solutions, LLC. “In some places, home prices have appreciated so much that it may be difficult to find a lucrative deal.”

Rental properties not only provide rental income, but also tax benefits not available with other investment opportunities. An additional advantage is that you have more control over your rental property than you do over investments such as the stock market.

Live-In Flips
House flipping involves buying a property at a discount, improving it for the purpose of appreciating its value, and then selling it at a profit. A live-in flip is a property the investor lives in while renovating it.

Living in your flip benefits you in two ways: First, you can make money when you sell the house later; second, you avoid having to pay for a separate home to live in.

“Flipping a house—acquiring, repairs, and selling—can be completed in six months and result in a substantial payday,” says Lucas Machado, real estate investor and founder of Home Heroes, LLC. “Flips can earn tens of thousands of dollars in a short time frame. It’s the best strategy for those that need capital in the near future.”

Multifamily Homes
Multifamily properties are buildings that house more than one family. The fact that people always need a place to live results in consistent demand for rental units regardless of the overall economic environment.

Investing in multifamily homes can be lucrative if it’s done properly. Justin Taber, real estate investor and a licensed REALTOR® in Ohio, recommends living onsite.

“While you live in this property, you will be living either for free or heavily subsidized by renters,” Taber says. “When you move out, you will be making money. In about 30 years, once this property is paid off, your cash flow will be quite substantial—just in time for you to start thinking about retirement.”

Crowdfunding
Crowdfunding is one of the newest and easiest ways to access the real estate markets. Rather than buying an entire property or financing a development project on your own, you can buy into a very small share of a property or project using a real estate crowdfunding platform.

Not all platforms are created equal. Look for one led by real estate professionals qualified to screen investments. From there, you can choose which specific real estate investments you want to buy into. Distribution of future gains is proportionally based on the ownership shares investors purchased.

“These private placements are illiquid, though, meaning that you may have a hard time selling your investment if you need to raise cash quickly,” says Milledge.

REITs
Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are a special form of security that invests in real estate. Unlike most other investment vehicles, REITs must pay out at least 90 percent of their taxable income as dividends to investors. When you invest in a REIT, you’re essentially paying a professional management team to do the work of investing your money in real estate while you reap the profits of REITs.

REITs are an easy way to invest in real estate because you don’t need tons of money.

“The initial contribution to invest in a REIT is very low,” says John Barnes, certified financial planner and founder of The Annuity Assistant. “For example, you could buy shares of a REIT which manages apartment complexes for $500. Contrast this with a direct purchase in an apartment building, which might cost you $500,000, and the many risks that go with it.”

Real Estate Wholesaling
Real estate wholesaling is when there is a middleman involved in the transaction between the seller and the buyer, with the wholesaler serving as the middleman.

Kyle Alfriend, owner of Alfriend Real Estate Group, sums up what it’s like to be the middleman: “You focus on only finding the property, negotiating the price, and then selling that agreement to another investor. This is called wholesaling and requires no out-of-pocket money from you.”

The fine line of separation between real estate wholesaling, which doesn’t require a real estate license, and real estate brokering, which does require a license, has led some states to set guidelines for wholesaling activities. Texas law, for example, requires that unlicensed wholesalers disclose their financial interest to prospective buyers.

Rent Out a Space in Your Home or on Your Property
Renting out part of your home or property is probably the most immediately lucrative investment you can make, and you won’t need outside funding or a new piece of property. Instead, find opportunities within the property you already own.

Perhaps you’re a homeowner with a garage apartment that only needs a bit of TLC to make it ready for renters, pr maybe you have a spare room in your home that’s sitting empty. With a little bit of money up front, you can start renting it to a tenant almost immediately. Alternatively, advertise the room as a vacation rental on an online booking site such as Airbnb.

Michael McDonald contributed to the reporting for this article.

©2017 GOBankingRates.com, a ConsumerTrack web property

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of RISMedia.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post 7 Easiest Ways to Get Into Real Estate Investing Now appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

5 Painting Mistakes That’ll Show

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 24, 2017 - 11:00pm

A fresh coat of paint can make a big difference to the appearance of a room. But before you send your clients off with a paintbrush, make sure you...

Categories: Real Estate

New-Home Sales Hit 10-Year High

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 24, 2017 - 11:00pm

Activity in the new-construction sector rose 18.9 percent last month, according to data from HUD and the Census Bureau.

Categories: Real Estate

Why Are Victorians so Spooky?

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 24, 2017 - 11:00pm

Victorian architecture is often used to connote an eerie, haunted quality. How did the style get such a creepy rep?

Categories: Real Estate

Airbnb May Boost Home Prices

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 24, 2017 - 11:00pm

The home-sharing service may prove to be a boon to home values and rental rates in a metro area, according to a new analysis. 

Categories: Real Estate

Upscale Staging Is Key in Luxury Condos

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 24, 2017 - 11:00pm

Looking to get your listing noticed on the higher end of the market? Condo developers in this segment say they lure affluent buyers with models...

Categories: Real Estate

Mortgage Volume Back Down Again

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 24, 2017 - 11:00pm

Home purchase applications saw large decreases last week as borrowers receded. 

Categories: Real Estate

Don’t Scare Buyers Away This Halloween

RisMedia - October 24, 2017 - 3:43pm

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

You may be getting into the holiday spirit this October, but remember that if you’re trying to sell your home, you still have to appeal to the majority of buyers. Not everyone is into the haunted house scene, so maybe tone down the spook factor while you’re on the market.

Keep it lit. You may be trying to set the mood with dim, orange or black lighting, but if your house comes across as dark, then you might be alienating buyers from the get-go. If holiday-themed lights are your weak spot, try to keep them as part of your outdoor decoration, and at a minimum. Trendy lanterns are a great way of boosting your seasonal lighting without incorporating off-putting plastic string lights.

Put the animatronics away. Sure, the sudden sounds and animation are a great way of frightening friends and family when they walk through your door, but you certainly don’t want to have that effect on buyers. That floating head that comes to life with the smallest movement (or goes off randomly, shocking unsuspecting victims)? Keep it stored away until your home is off the market. Even if turned off, these characters will distract buyers from the real reason for their visit: to see if it’s a place they can call home.

Keep it neat. You want your home to appear as neat as possible when it’s on the market. Any excess decorations—even if they’re fake spiders, tombstones, ghouls or spider webs—can come across as clutter. Make it as easy as possible for buyers to envision themselves living in the house. Selling will be significantly harder if your home looks like a scene from a horror movie. (On that note, put the fake blood away for the time being, as well.)

Don’t deck out the exterior. While you may be proud of your hair-raising cemetery, rolling fog and thundering sound effects, prospective buyers may have a hard time looking past your seasonal decor. All of the Halloween accessories can take part in molding buyers’ first impressions. You want them to think of your place as home, not a haunted attraction.

If you can’t live without the Halloween-themed accessories, keep it simple. There are plenty of Gothic-inspired items that scream Halloween without being over the top. A simple black rose wreath on your front door and a couple of pumpkins by the entrance won’t hurt your chances of selling. Candles are a great way to show off your holiday spirit, and they also make your home smell clean. Many fall centerpieces with leaves and twigs look great for Halloween, so double up on your autumn decor!

Don’t focus on the fact that you can’t embellish every nook and cranny with scream-worthy accessories. Remember, the faster you sell, the faster you can get into the comforts of your new place, where blood-curdling screams and chilling ghost stories make you feel at home.

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Don’t Scare Buyers Away This Halloween appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

How Happy Is Your City?

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 23, 2017 - 11:00pm

Check your city’s happiness level in a new index from National Geographic and Gallup.

Categories: Real Estate

Where to Find the Most Profitable Rentals

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 23, 2017 - 11:00pm

With homebuying prices skyrocketing across the country, a new study pinpoints where to still locate the best deals for cash-producing rental...

Categories: Real Estate

Wildfire Victims Get Mortgage Reprieve

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 23, 2017 - 11:00pm

California homeowners affected by the wildfires may be eligible to defer their mortgage payments for up to 12 months.

Categories: Real Estate

Realogy Names New CEO

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 23, 2017 - 11:00pm

Ryan M. Schneider, a former Capital One exec, will take the reins as Realogy’s new CEO on Dec. 31.

Categories: Real Estate

Farming Giants Squeeze Out Smaller Operators

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 23, 2017 - 11:00pm

Smaller farmers are being driven out of business as the deepest slump hits since the 1980s. The trend could transform America’s rural...

Categories: Real Estate