©phanlop88 - freedigitalphotos

©phanlop88 – freedigitalphotos

In today’s current economic environment, 1 in 5 homeowners are behind on their monthly mortgage payments, or facing the risk of default.  It is important to understand that although this is a bad situation to be in, it is possible to get out of it.  Homeownership, while advantageous to build equity and increase wealth for the future, is a responsibility that requires an accurate estimate of income and expense for the average household to build wealth by way of the most common asset, a home.  Sometimes it is time to cut your losses, and decide to sell a property.  Because there is currently a high rate of homes on the markets in most regions, helping your property to stand out amongst the rest can really help generate interest quickly, and help procure a quick sale.

When it comes to electricity in a home, make sure all outlets are functioning properly.  Many older more out-dated properties lack sufficient outlets, or have them in impractical locations.  An outlet should never have a lot of appliances plugged into it at once.  This is dangerous and is an easy cause of fire in many homes.  Not to mention it is an eyesore to any guest that comes by.  When it comes to heating and air conditioning make sure that all filters are working, and do not need replacement.  They should be replaced once every winter, to ensure smooth air flow.  Often times forced-air filters are overused and heating costs can soar if the filter is clogged or filled with debris.

When looking to create or add value to a property, try to be as thrifty as possible but keep in mind that every little improvement helps when a potential buyer is considering purchasing.  Cleaning a property thoroughly is a first step, no one wants to walk into a property that is filthy, it automatically turns off a buyer and makes it hard for them to consider the actual house if they can’t get passed the mess.  Create as much usable space as possible.  Most buyers are looking for as good of “bang-for-the-buck” as possible, and open space can really help.  Creating a nice view is also possible.  If there are plants or shelves blocking windows, this is probably limiting the amount of natural light that comes into the property.  It can also be blocking a potentially nice view.  Most buyers like to see some natural light, and always enjoy a nice view.  This is a little hint to ensure that your property shows as well as possible.  That being said, if there is anything unsavory about your view it is not a bad idea to put something in front of the window, so as not to bring attention to it, for instance a brick wall or electric wires.

Needless to say, a property will sell quicker if it is fully functional, including working plumbing and electric among other things.  All faucets should be checked for leaks and drips.  Replace washers as necessary, and check for ones that need replacement.  Often times potential buyers will turn the water faucets on and off in kitchens and bathrooms, so this is an easy thing to ensure is working, but also an easy turn-off for a buyer if it is not.  Checking the toilets to determine whether the water shuts off automatically is a smart move.  Any cracks in the bathroom or kitchen can easily be fixed with caulking, which is relatively inexpensive.  Also remove stains from previous leaks as well.  Water stains are immediately a red-flag to buyers and real estate agents, and any evidence of leakage or moisture could be a big worry to a buyer.  It is also a sign that there could be mold build-up behind the walls, which is a very costly problem to fix – and an almost guaranteed deal-killer to any would-be buyer.

Homeowners who spend a lot of money on landscaping may not see their money returned dollar for dollar in the marketplace.  However, a nicely manicured lawn can definitely help sell a property, and is usually very appealing to perspective buyers.  When trying to sell a property make sure the yard is cleanly raked and the grass is well-maintained.  If possible, planting flowers and shrubbery is a nice touch and can really increase the overall attractiveness of the property.

These are just some basic items to pay attention to – there are a number of other simple ways to improve your property.  By making sure that a property is well-maintained you can assure a smoother transaction when you go to sell the property.  It is also especially helpful in today’s marketplace where buyers are having more options then ever.

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